OBAMA AND IMMIGRATION
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Obama in 2006 Writes That a Vast Influx of Immigrants Could Harm Native-Born Blacks
- In his 2006 autobiography, The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote:
“[T]here’s no denying that many blacks share the same anxieties as many whites about the wave of illegal immigration flooding our Southern border—a sense that what’s happening now is fundamentally different from what has gone on before. Not all these fears are irrational. The number of immigrants added to the labor force every year is of a magnitude not seen in this country for over a century. If this huge influx of mostly low-skill workers provides some benefits to the economy as a whole—especially by keeping our workforce young, in contrast to an increasingly geriatric Europe and Japan—it also threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans and put strains on an already overburdened safety net.”
Opposing Immigration Raids
- President Obama opposes immigration raids designed to identify illegal immigrants in workplaces or housing units.
“Path to Citizenship”
- Obama says the U.S. should “allow undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.” He supports a “path to citizenship” for illegal aliens, so as to “bring people out of the shadows” and allow them “to fully embrace our values and become full members of our democracy.”
Driver's Licenses for Illegals
- Obama favors permitting illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. “When I was a state senator in Illinois,” Obama has said, “I voted to require that illegal aliens get trained, get a license, get insurance to protect public safety. That was my intention. The problem we have here is not driver’s licenses. Undocumented workers do not come here to drive. They’re here to work.”
Social Security Benefits for Illegals
- As a senator, Obama voted in favor of allowing former illegal aliens who had previously worked at jobs under phony or stolen Social Security numbers, to someday reap the benefits of whatever Social Security contributions they may have made while they were so employed.
- As a senator, Obama voted in favor of an amendment placing an expiration date on a point-based immigration system (i.e., a system that seeks to ensure that people with skills that society needs are given preference for entry into the United States). Obama instead advocates a system focusing on the reunification of family members, even if that means permitting the relatives of illegal aliens to join the latter in America.
The DREAM Act
- As a U.S. senator, Obama was a supporter of the DREAM Act, legislation that would allow illegal-alien students to attend college at the reduced tuition rates normally reserved for in-state legal residents, and to earn conditional permanent residency and a path to citizenshipi. He helped to pass a state version of such a law in Illinois during his years as a state senator.
Legalizing Illegal Aliens, to Make Them Eligible for Health Care
- On September 18, 2009, The Washington Times reported: “President Obama said this week that his health care plan won't cover illegal immigrants, but argued that's all the more reason to legalize them and ensure they eventually do get coverage.” “Even though I do not believe we can extend coverage to those who are here illegally,” Obama told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, “... this debate underscores the necessity of passing comprehensive immigration reform and resolving the issue of 12 million undocumented people living and working in this country once and for all.”
Obama Lifts HIV Immigration Ban
On October 30, 2009, President Obama fulfilled a campaign promise he had made to gay advocates, when he announced the end of a 22-year ban on travel and immigration to the United States by people who had tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Obama's announcement was effectively a declaration that the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) designation of HIV as a "communicable disease of public health significance" was no longer operative, even though: (a) other sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, chancroid, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, and lymphogranuloma venereum remained on the HHS list, and (b) each year, some 16,000 people in the U.S. were dying of AIDS, while another 56,000 were becoming newly infected with HIV.
In making his announcement, Obama derided the longstanding ban as "a decision rooted in fear rather than fact"; a "stigma" that unfairly "treated a visitor living with it as a threat." "[W]e are one of only a dozen countries that still bar people [with] HIV from entering our own country," Obama said. "If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it."
Obama Justice Department Sues Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio
- In September 2010, the Obama Justice Department sued Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for his aggressive policies against illegal immigration. In the greater Phoenix area, Arpaio had established a hotline for the public to report immigration violations. He also had conducted numerous crime and immigration sweeps in heavily Latino neighborhoods, and he frequently raided workplaces in search of people residing in the U.S. illegally.
Changing Deportation Policy
- In August 2011, President Obama issued an executive order to prevent potentially thousands of cases in federal immigration court from moving forward if they did not involve criminals or people with flagrant immigration violations. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that the agency would launch a case-by-case review of 300,000 cases pending in immigration courts across the nation to focus on the federal government’s top priority, detaining and deporting criminals and serious violators of immigration law. Immigrants classified as low-priority cases would be eligible to receive a stay of deportation and the chance to apply for a work permit.
Obama Says He Will No Longer Deport Illegal Minors
- In June 2012 President Obama, frustrated that Congress had thus far failed to pass the DREAM Act, issued an executive order that mimicked some of the Act's provisions. Most notably, the order stated that the administration would grant a two-year deferral from deportation to young illegal immigrants who had entered the United States as minors if they: (a) posed no criminal or security threat; (b) were successful students; or (c) were serving in the military. Obama's order also allowed those meeting these requirements to apply for work permits, provided they could demonstrate that they had been living in the United States continuously for at least five years.
Stating that children of illegal immigrants "study in our schools, play in our neighborhoods, befriend our kids, pledge allegiance to our flag," Obama said, "it makes no sense to expel talented young people who are, for all intents and purposes, Americans."
The Obama administration estimated that the policy change would affect some 800,000 people.
Obama Administration Falsifies Its Deportation Statistics
- In August 2012, Lamar Smith, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, revealed that the Obama administration had “falsified” deportation records to artificially boost the number of deportations for which it took credit. The Border Patrol and the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are the federal government's two chief immigration law enforcement branches. The jurisdiction of Border Patrol agents runs along America's international boundaries, and the illegal immigrants those agents apprehend are generally returned directly to their country of origin—most often Mexico—rather than put into formal deportation proceedings. Because the Border Patrol's “voluntary returns” carry no significant penalties, people who are removed in this manner commonly try to re-enter the U.S. again, with no little to no risk of punishment. ICE, by contrast, generally handles the more formal deportation proceedings, where penalties can be significant. ICE also handles interior enforcement—i.e., cases involving illegals who have progressed well beyond the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Smith’s committee found that the Obama administration for several years had been mixing many Border Patrol apprehensions with ICE's deportation statistics. When the Border Patrol numbers were subtracted, said Smith, deportations actually had declined every year since Obama first took office in 2009, dropping from approximately 395,000 that year to about 330,000 in 2011. Said Smith: “It is dishonest to count illegal immigrants apprehended by the Border Patrol along the border as ICE removals. These ‘removals’ from the Border Patrol program do not subject the illegal immigrant to any penalties or bars for returning to the U.S. This means a single illegal immigrant can show up at the border and be removed numerous times in a single year—and counted each time as a removal.”
More Proof That the Obama Administration Has Long Been Falsifying Its Deportation Statistics
On April 19, 2013, National Review reported the following:
It is one of the Obama administration’s favorite talking points on immigration: It has been deporting illegal immigrants in record numbers. That bolsters its credentials on enforcement and supports the argument that, now that we’ve gotten tough on the border, it is time to enact comprehensive immigration reform.
But figures recently unearthed by a federal lawsuit in Texas cast serious doubt on the administration’s deportation claims. The number of deportations appears to have declined significantly during the president’s term in office.
Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, has analyzed a set of largely unpublished official statistics on immigration-enforcement activity over the past five years. Earlier this month, Vaughan testified in court on behalf of a group of U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE) agents who are suing the administration over its use of “prosecutorial discretion” in dictating how immigration law is enforced — or not enforced. The agents are seeking an injunction against a series of policy directives from ICE and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that were designed to regulate the extent to which ICE officers could initiate deportation proceedings for illegal immigrants in their custody.
In her testimony on April 8, Vaughan noted that, contrary to the administration’s claims, the number of illegal-immigrant removals has dropped 40 percent since June 2011, when ICE director John Morton issued the first of several directives outlining significant changes to the agency’s enforcement policies. “There has been a significant decline in enforcement activity as measured by the number of removals,” Vaughan says.
Deportations specifically of illegal immigrants convicted of a crime — individuals the administration says it has prioritized for removal — are similarly down, almost 40 percent since June 2011, Vaughan found. And that decline has occurred despite a significant increase in the number of illegal immigrants referred to ICE after being arrested for crimes. “There are certainly enough illegal aliens out there, especially enough criminal illegal aliens, that their numbers should be going up, not down,” Vaughan says. “So they appear to be giving a lot of free passes to people who are a public-safety problem, beyond the fact that they are here illegally.”
Removals generated by ICE’s Enforcement and Removals division, which is responsible for interior immigration enforcement, have decreased nearly 50 percent since June 2011. Vaughan says the administration has been inflating its deportation statistics by including a greater number of U.S. Border Patrol cases — illegal immigrants picked up at the border and subsequently referred to ICE — as part of its annual statistics. Border Patrol cases accounted for 56 percent of removals reported in fiscal year 2013, up from 33 percent in 2008. Typically, an individual apprehended at the southern border is simply returned to Mexico without being processed as a deportation by ICE.
Vaughan says this undermines the administration’s claim that pursuing criminal cases is its top priority. This was the primary argument that DHS secretary Janet Napolitano put forward in June 2012, when she issued a directive instructing ICE officers to refrain from initiating deportation proceedings for illegal immigrants who might qualify for “DREAM status” — immigrants who were brought here illegally, are currently enrolled in school or the military, and have not been convicted of a serious crime. “They have been justifying policies by saying it enables them to focus more on criminals,” Vaughan says. “What’s happening is actually the opposite. The majority of resources are going toward supporting Border Patrol activity.” ...
“DHS and ICE are knowingly manipulating arrest and deportation data with the specific intent of misleading the American public with regard to the enforcement of illegal immigration in our country,” [Chris Crane, who heads the union representing more than 7,000 ICE agents and officers] told reporters Thursday at a Capitol Hill press conference. “At an alarming rate, ICE arrest and deportation numbers have plummeted since 2008, clear evidence that interior enforcement has in large part been shut down over the last four years.”
Administration lawyers did not extensively challenge Vaughan’s court testimony, other than to introduce a bar graph, based on ICE statistics, showing that convicted criminals accounted for 55 percent of all deportations in fiscal year 2012. That figure is misleadingly high, Vaughan stresses, because it includes a large number of Border Patrol removals referred to ICE. In some cases that transfer process may have led to double counting, further inflating the total number of removals, she says.
Opposing the Border Fence
- In 2005 the Bush administration initiated the construction of a virtual border fence, consisting of a network of cameras, ground sensors and radars designed to spot incursions help determine where Border Patrol agents should be deployed. The project was slated to be completed—i.e., to be monitoring most of America's souther border—by 2011. But progress was minimal, and in early 2011 the Obama administration scrapped the plan. Only 53 miles of operational “virtual fence” had been put in place.
Encouraging Immigration for Welfare-Dependent People
- In 2012, the Obama administration watered down existing requirements that immigrants and visa applicants not be reliant on government-assistance programs like food stamps, housing benefits, energy assistance, and childcare services. In response, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions remarked, “It is a sound principle of immigration law that those who come to our country should be able to take care of themselves financially, yet this legal requirement has effectively been waived.” Added Sessions: “More than 100 million people in the U.S., including foreign nationals, are currently receiving some form of federal welfare. Yet despite these historic figures, the Administration is aggressively trying to boost the welfare rolls among non-citizens. USDA has even entered into a partnership with the Mexican government to expand enrollment in food stamps and the fourteen other welfare programs administered by that agency. Actions like this threaten the core premise of American immigration.”
Obama's Support for “La Raza” (“The Race”)
- In July 2007, presidential candidate Obama was a featured speaker at the annual convention of the National Council of La Raza, which lobbies for racial preferences, mass immigration, and a path to legalization for illegal aliens. He pledged to “never walk away from the 12 million undocumented immigrants who live, work, and contribute to our country every single day,” and lamented that opponents of illegal immigration had created an atmosphere “that was both ugly and racist.”
- In July 2008, candidate Obama again spoke to the National Council of La Raza. Soliciting the help of this “extraordinary” organization in his quest to “transform this nation,” he said: “The system isn't working when 12 million people live in hiding, and hundreds of thousands cross our borders illegally each year; when companies hire undocumented immigrants instead of legal citizens to avoid paying overtime or to avoid a union; when communities are terrorized by ICE immigration raids—when nursing mothers are torn from their babies, when children come home from school to find their parents missing, when people are detained without access to legal counsel….”
- A Judicial Watch investigation revealed that federal funding for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and its affiliates skyrocketed after President Obama had appointed NCLR's senior vice president, Cecilia Muñoz, to be his director of intergovernmental affairs in 2009. The year Muñoz joined the White House, government funds earmarked for La Raza increased from $4.1 million to $11 million. Fully 60% of that money came from the Department of Labor, headed by Hilda Solis, who has close ties to the La Raza movement.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Implementing the DREAM Act by Executive Fiat
The Center for Immigration Studies explains the Obama Administration's controversial "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" program and its enormous significance:
"On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] announced that most illegal aliens purporting to be under age 31 and claiming to have come to the United States as a child would be granted a two-year legalization. Further, most amnesty recipients could seek a work permit. This 'legal' status could lead to acquisition of a bona fide Social Security number. Amnesty applicants with a 'serious' criminal record may be turned down, although such an overwhelming volume of applicants will likely cause DHS to approve questionable applications, even of criminals and frauds, instead of adequately screening and denying those who would actually not qualify.
"The 'Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals' initiative unilaterally applies an exception-making policy known as 'deferred action,' normally reserved for use on an extraordinary, case-by-case basis, to an entire class of illegal immigrants. This step is remarkable for its breadth, covering about one-fifth of the estimated illegal population, as well as its wholesale application of what can only be described as turning the exception into the rule.
"The amnesty stratagem came about because Congress has declined to enact the DREAM Act legalization bill, despite its being introduced in a string of Congresses. The DREAM Act would confer permanent legal status on the same class of illegal aliens as DACA. The bald-faced exercise of enacting, by executive branch fiat in defiance of congressional will, any policy outcome that rightfully remains the prerogative of the legislative branch disregards the separation of powers delineated in the U.S. Constitution. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement rank-and-file have sued over the action."
DACA Completely Contradicts Obama's Lip Service to Constitutional Limitations
The Obama Administration's implementation of DACA was wholly contradictory to what the President had said at a Univision town hall on March 28, 2011:
"With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed.... Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.
There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President".
The implementation of DACA was also contradictory to what Obama would say to a group of Latino journalists on September 28, 2011:
"I just have to continue to say, this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is, there are laws on the books that I have to enforce. And I think there’s been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating [sic] the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things. It’s just not true.... [W]e live in a democracy. You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it.... We have to recognize how the system works, and then apply pressure to those places where votes can be gotten and, ultimately, we can get this thing solved. And nobody will be a stronger advocate for making that happen than me."
And implementation of DACA was likewise contradictory to what Obama would say on November 25, 2013: “If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing them through Congress, I would do so. But we’re also a nation of laws. That's part of our tradition.”
Benefits That DACA Will Give to Illegal Immigrants
In December 2014, columnist David Frum provided details regarding the benefits that DACA would likely make available to illegal immigrants. Some excerpts:
In a statement announcing his executive amnesty, President Obama reassured doubters that formerly illegal aliens would not qualify for “the same benefits that citizens receive.” As federal agencies begin issuing Social Security numbers to millions of new residents, however, it’s becoming clear that the president’s words were seriously misleading.
Formerly illegal aliens may not qualify for “the same benefits that citizens receive,” but they will very likely qualify for tens of billions of dollars worth of many of the most generous benefits available to citizens. How much, precisely, will become clearer in the coming weeks.
Start, for example, with the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit. These two means-tested benefits “top up” the wages of low-paid workers. Both are first applied to offset any federal tax liability a worker may have. The remainder of the credit is then refundable in cash to the worker. In the 2011 tax year, the average EITC payment to a family with children was $2,905, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. The Additional Child Tax Credit works in much the same way, paying an average of $1,800 to qualifying households.
The key fact about these two programs is that they are administered by the Internal Revenue Service as part of the tax code, not as social-welfare programs. The IRS asks only one question as it processes an EITC: Does the credit-seeker have a Social Security number? For the ACTC, the standard is even laxer: Does the credit-seeker have a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number? (The ITIN is the substitute for a Social Security number widely used by illegal aliens.)
... The IRS has neither the means nor the resources to deny EITC and ACTC to anyone with a valid nine-digit Social Security number. ACTC already pays huge amounts to illegal aliens holding only ITINs—$4.2 billion in 2010, according to the Treasury Department’s own inspector general. Once those ITIN holders gain Social Security numbers, it will become even less feasible to distinguish between presidentially and congressionally authorized resident aliens, even supposing the administration wished to do so—which of course it does not. So both the EITC and the ACTC are destined to grow hugely.
How much? Here’s one indicator, courtesy of the Center for Immigration Studies. About 14.5 percent of the native-born population of the United States earns little enough to qualify for the EITC. Almost twice as great a portion of the total immigrant population, 29.7 percent, qualifies. But the specific immigrant groups most likely to benefit from the president’s action earn even less. Fifty-three percent of Mexican-born immigrants, 55 percent of Honduran-born immigrants, and 57 percent of Guatemalan-born immigrants earn little enough to qualify for the EITC. About half the migrants from these communities in the United States are present illegally, and they dominate the numbers among the newly legalized. Almost 87 percent of those who have received deferred action under the president’s 2012 action come either from Mexico or Central America. Everything points to a huge surge in EITC eligibility following this year’s executive action.
The ACTC may grow less, since illegal aliens can already make use of it. On the other hand, people present illegally may hesitate to apply for benefits, lest they be identified and penalized in some way. If those anxieties are overcome, more than 40 percent of Mexican- and Guatemalan-born immigrants will qualify for the ACTC, and about one-third of immigrants from El Salvador and Honduras....
Quaintly enough, U.S. immigration law still forbids the president to grant residency to aliens likely to become “a public charge.” The list of exceptions, however, overwhelms the rule. Here are the benefits that are “not intended for income maintenance” and therefore exempt, according to Citizenship and Immigration Services:
* Medicaid and other health insurance and health services ...
* Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
* Nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)- commonly referred to as Food Stamps, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program, and other supplementary and emergency food assistance programs
* Housing benefits
* Child care services
* Energy assistance, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
* Emergency disaster relief
* Foster care and adoption assistance
* Educational assistance (such as attending public school), including benefits under the Head Start Act and aid for elementary, secondary or higher education
* Job training programs
* In-kind, community-based programs, services or assistance (such as soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter)
* Non-cash benefits under TANF such as subsidized child care or transit subsidies
* Cash payments that have been earned, such as Title II Social Security benefits, government pensions, and veterans' benefits, and other forms of earned benefits
* Unemployment compensation
Those interpretations have allowed the evolution of an immigration policy that has become one of the most important drivers of the growth in federal and—even more—state spending. Immigration cost the typical California household an extra $1,178 in state taxes when the question was last thoroughly examined, in the mid-1990s. With Medicaid costs doubling approximately every decade, that figure should be considerably higher by now....
DACA Program Does Not Effectively Weed out Dangerous Criminals & Gang Members
In April 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (ICE) admitted -- in response to a query letter from U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley -- that an illegal alien named Jesus Rangel-Hernandez, a gang member who was slated for deportation until he applied for DACA and was thus permitted to stay in the U.S., was being charged with four counts of first-degree murder in North Carolina.
Said North Carolina Senator Richard Burr: “This agency’s admission is chilling. For some time, the administration has promised Americans that those who qualify for their executive order would fully meet a set of guidelines meant to keep criminals out of our country. We now know that isn’t true and that the agency tasked with implementing the President’s edict cannot effectively carry out the rule without compromising the safety of Americans. This is one more reason why the President’s habit of governing by proclamation is a poor replacement for actual law making.”
Obama Says Illegal Immigrants Should Not Be “Expelled from Our Country”
- During his second inaugural address as president on January 21, 2013, Obama emphasized his commitment to passing “comprehensive immigration reform” and the DREAM Act, both of which would include a path-to-citizenship for illegals currently residing in the United States: “Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.”
Obama Says That People From Mexico "Did Not Cross the Border, The Border Crossed Them":
- When outgoing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, who is of Mexican heritage, formally stepped down from his post in early February 2013, Obama suggested that the Hispanic Cabinet member was more authentically American than the Pilgrims of New England: "His ancestors were here before the Mayflower set sail." The president then echoed a phrase common among Nativists who believe that lands belong to ethnicities rather than to countries: "[Salazar and] his family did not cross the border, the border crossed them. And that's why, when I needed somebody to lead Interior, I didn't have to look very far."
Obama Says He Is "Proud" of Immigration Activists
- On November 29, 2013, President Obama and his wife went to the National Mall in Washington to visit 10 activists who were in the 18th day of a hunger strike protesting House inaction on immigration-reform legislation. "We are very proud of you," Obama told the activists on behalf of his administration. “I remain optimistic that we’re going to get this done. It’s more of a question of when not if. But I’d rather get it done sooner rather than later because each day, obviously, it’s not done makes it more difficult because we still have a system that’s not working for too many people.” Reiterating his view that there was still time in 2013 for the House to pass such legislation, Obama added: “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
Easing Restrictions on Immigration by People with Terrorist Ties
In February 2014, the Obama administration unilaterally eased restrictions on asylum seekers who had loose or incidental ties to terrorist and insurgent groups. Specifically, the new policy allowed some individuals who had provided "limited material support" to terror groups to be considered for entry into the United States.
Obama DHS Instructs Border Guards to Run Away from Illegals Throwing Rocks at Them
On March 10, 2014, the Daily Caller reported:
Top administration officials have directed 21,000 border patrol officers to retreat whenever illegal immigrants throw rocks at them, and to avoid getting in front of foreign drug-smugglers’ vehicles as they head north with their drug shipments.
“Agents shall not discharge firearms in response to thrown or hurled projectiles… agents should obtain a tactical advantage in these situations, such as seeking cover or distancing themselves,” said the instructions, issued Mar. 7, under the signature of Michael Fisher, chief of U.S. Border Patrol.
Agents were also directed to keep their weapons holstered when drug smugglers drive by.
Agents can’t use guns against “a moving vehicle merely fleeing from agents,” say the instructions.
The new instructions do allow agents to use guns to defend themselves from vehicles that drive at them. “Agents shall not discharge their firearms at a moving vehicle unless the agent has a reasonable belief that… deadly force is being used against an agent,” the new instructions say.
However, the instructions also suggest that officers be penalized if they don’t step back. Agents “should not place themselves in the path of a motor vehicle or use their body to block a vehicles’s path,” according to new instructions....
The new rules were issued at the direction of Jeh Johnston, the new head of the Department of Homeland Security....
Obama Administration Deports/Removes Almost No Illegal Alien Who Has Not Also Committed an Additional Crime
A March 2014 report by Senator Jeff Sessions stated that 98% of individuals deported from the United States in 2013 either were criminals, had been previously deported, or were apprehended while illegally crossing the border (in which case their removal from the U.S. are not deportations as commonly understood). The report noted that under Obama's ICE, illegal aliens were considered deportation-worthy only if they met at least one of the following four specific criteria: (a) they had been convicted of committing a serious criminal offense; (b) they had been apprehended while crossing the border (which, as noted above, does not constitute deportation as commonly understood); (c) they had resurfaced after having been previously deported; or (d) they had been fugitives from the law.
Said the report: “Remarkably, the first two categories—border apprehensions ... and convicted criminals—account for 94% of the 368,000 removals (235,000 and 110,000, respectively).” Only 0.2% of the illegal aliens who were actually placed into removal proceedings in 2013 did not have a violent or otherwise serious criminal conviction on their record. Only .08% of the total number of illegal aliens placed into removal proceedings in 2013 were neither repeat immigration-law violators nor convicted of a serious crime. In other words, explained Sessions:
"The evidence reveals that the Administration has carried out a dramatic nullification of federal law. Under the guise of setting ‘priorities’, the Administration has determined that almost anyone in the world who can enter the United States is free to illegally live, work and claim benefits here as long as they are not caught committing a felony or other serious crime."
ICE Released 68,000 Criminal Illegal Aliens in 2013
In March 2014, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) reported that in 2013, U.S. immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) had 722,000 encounters with potentially deportable aliens, most of whom came to ICE's attention after they had been jailed in connection with a local arrest. But ICE officials followed through with immigration charges against only 195,000 of these aliens (about 27%). The other 530,000+ were released, mostly "because of current policies that shield most illegal aliens from enforcement, not because the aliens turned out to have legal status or were qualified to stay in the United States."
Added CIS: "Many of the aliens ignored by ICE were convicted criminals. In 2013, ICE agents released 68,000 aliens with criminal convictions, or 35 percent of all criminal aliens they reported encountering. The criminal alien releases typically occur without formal notice to local law enforcement agencies and victims."
All told, more than 870,000 aliens who had been ordered deported, were still in the U.S. in defiance of the law. "Under current policies," said CIS, "an alien's family relationships, political considerations, attention from advocacy groups, and other factors not related to public safety can trump even serious criminal convictions and result in the termination of a deportation case."
In CIS's estimation:
"The release of so many convicted criminals back into U.S. communities, when they could be removed to their home countries, is a large-scale abuse of authority that inevitably leads to public harm. There is no possible excuse or logical argument, and certainly no legal justification, for failing to deport tens of thousands of aliens with criminal convictions who have been encountered by an ICE officer. ICE has claimed it lacks the resources to deport more aliens than it has for the last several years, but it has yet to explain why it has used these resources primarily to detain and process individuals apprehended by the Border Patrol, whom the Border Patrol could remove, instead of deporting criminal aliens discovered by ICE officers in the interior. Instead, the administration has repeatedly asked Congress to give it less money for detention. This year the president's budget requests a reduction of $255 million in funding for detention space for ICE, even though they are not now maintaining custody of every alien whose detention is required by law, nor every alien who poses a risk to the public or is a flight risk."
Deportations Decline Dramatically Under Obama
In April 2014, the Daily Caller reported that according to Justice Department statistics, the number of deportations through the courts had declined by 43% since President Obama took office in 2009. This figure included new deportation cases brought by the Obama administration (of which there were 26% fewer in 2013 than in 2009), as well as deportation or removal orders from judges. (Between 2009 and 2013, the proportion of instances in which a judge decided against deportation increased from one-fifth to one-third of all cases.)
36,000 Criminals Freed While Awaiting Deportation
On May 14, 2014, CBS News reported the following about a Center for Immigration Studies report that had been made public two days earlier:
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released 36,007 convicted criminal aliens last year who were awaiting the outcome of deportation proceedings, according to a report issued Monday by the Center for Immigration Studies.
The group of released criminals includes those convicted of homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping and aggravated assault, according to the report, which cites a document prepared by the ICE.
A majority of the releases were not required by law and were discretionary, the organization says.
According to the report, the 36,007 individuals released represented nearly 88,000 convictions, including:
- 193 homicide convictions
- 426 sexual assault convictions
- 303 kidnapping convictions
- 1,075 aggravated assault convictions
- 1,160 stolen vehicle convictions
- 9,187 dangerous drug convictions
- 16,070 drunk or drugged driving convictions
- 303 flight escape convictions
In a statement which accompanied the findings, Jessica Vaughan, the director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, called the number of criminal aliens released "shocking." [...]
"Studies have shown that fewer than a quarter of aliens who are released from custody while awaiting the outcome of immigration proceedings will show up for immigration court to finish their case. The departments of Homeland Security and Justice should be asked to disclose how many of these criminal aliens became fugitives after their release from ICE custody," [Vaughan] continued.
The ICE issued a statement in response to the report, saying that most of the individuals described in the report were released under restrictions, such as GPS monitoring, telephone monitoring, supervision or surety bond.
The organizations said that in some cases, the ICE was required by law to release the individuals from custody.
"The releases required by court decisions account for a disproportionate number of the serious crimes listed in the report. For example, mandatory releases account for over 75% of the homicides listed," the statement said. "Others, typically those with less serious offenses, were released as a discretionary matter after career law enforcement officers made a judgment regarding the priority of holding the individual, given ICE's resources, and prioritizing the detention and removal of individuals who pose a risk to public safety or national security."
But, Vaughan said ... the fact that the agency is admitting to having released 25% of the homicide convicts listed by their own choice is "truly alarming."
Obama Says Immigration Law Enforcement Is "Not Smart"
On May 13, 2014, President Obama told a gathering of law-enforcement officials that they should be pursuing major criminals, and not illegal immigrants who were living quietly and peacefully in their districts. Said Obama:
"You’ve got to spend time dealing with somebody who is not causing any other trouble other than the fact that they were trying to make a living for their families. That’s just not a good use of our resources. It’s not smart. It doesn’t make sense....
"Large segments of the community are afraid to report crimes or serve as witnesses because they fear the [possible deportation] consequences for themselves or their families....
"[The illegals] are folks who are woven into the fabrics of our communities. Their kids are going to school with our kids. Most of them are not making trouble; most of them are not causing crimes. And yet, we put them in this tenuous position, and it creates a situation in which your personnel, who have got to go after gang-bangers and need to be going after violent criminals and deal with the whole range of challenges, and who have to cooperate with [the federal government] around our counterterrorism activities."
Deportation Policy: Secure Communities Needs "Fresh Start," Obama Official Says
On May 16, 2014, the Associated Press reported that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was exploring, at President Obama's behest, the possibility of bringing a "fresh start" to the so-called Secure Communities program. Said AP:
"The program allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to run fingerprints of anyone booked for a local or state crime through a federal database for immigration violations. If there's a match, ICE can ask local police and sheriffs to detain the person, and then decide whether to deport them.
"The program, which was started in 2008 under the Bush administration but has been expanded under Obama, has led to complaints that people are being deported for immigration violations without being convicted of any crime, or with only minor offenses."
Obama Administration Encourages, and Pays for, Massive Increase in Illegal Immigration
On June 6, 2014, the Obama administration announced that it would be paying approximately 100 American lawyers to help young illegal immigrants -- a rapidly growing demographic -- settle in the United States. Attorney General Eric Holder said that these hundred-or-so attorneys -- dubbed “justice AmericaCorps” -- would “protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society … particularly young people who must appear in immigration proceedings.”
The number of youths illegally crossing the border into the southern U.S. -- mainly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador -- had reached staggering proportions since 2012, when President Obama had announced that his administration would no longer deport minors who were in the country illegally, so long as they met certain basic requirements. Whereas in 2011 about 6,000 young people were apprehended by border personnel, government officials estimated that the corresponding totals would exceed 90,000 in 2014 and 140,000 in 2015. None of these figures included the many tens of thousands more who had avoided, and would avoid, capture.
In response to the crisis, the Obama administration asked Congress for $3.7 billion to help house, feed and transport the children. CBS News reported: "Immigration officials, by policy, do not keep children in detention. They are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to be housed in shelters until they can be reunited with parents or guardians."
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville, Texas, explained the border crisis this way: "[The government] has simply chosen not to enforce the United States’ border security laws."
Many saw Obama's decision to allow this massive influx of illegal border-crossers as a strategy designed to flood the United States with young people whose grim circumstances would make them politically impossible to deport. In this way, the president could fundamentally transform the U.S. population by the sheer force of numbers. A statement released by the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers said:
“This is not a humanitarian crisis. It is a predictable, orchestrated and contrived assault on the compassionate side of Americans by her political leaders that knowingly puts minor illegal alien children at risk for purely political purposes. Certainly, we are not gullible enough to believe that thousands of unaccompanied minor Central American children came to America without the encouragement, aid and assistance of the United States government.”
Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) told radio host Steve Malzberg that Obama's motivation for allowing illegals to swarm across the border was as follows: "In the end they have said they want to turn Texas blue, they want to turn America blue. And if you bring in hundreds of thousands or millions of people and give them the ability to vote, and tell them ... 'if you want to keep getting the benefits you have to go vote' ... that drives people to vote and it would ensure Republicans will never get elected again."
The Daily Mail reported that many of the young people entering the U.S. illegally were gang members:
"Border Patrol agents overwhelmed by a recent influx of immigrant children crossing the border illegally have been knowingly letting gang members enter the country. Art Del Cueto, president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2544 in Tucson, Arizona told the National Review that officers who recognize gang tattoos on the minors are supposed to treat them like everyone else. For the most part, that means letting these unaccompanied children be reunited with their parents or other relatives already living in the United States."
Chris Cabrera, vice president of the National Board Patrol Council Local 3307, described the brazen fearlessness exhibited by many of the illegals:
"I've heard people come in and say, 'You're going to let me go, just like you let my mother go, just like you let my sister go. You're going to let me go as well, and the government's going to take care of us.'"
Various diseases were also widespread among the border-crossers.
The Obama administration relocated thousands of these illegal minors to cities in various places across the United States, without informing state or local authorities in those places, and without revealing the locations of the youmgsters.
Many of the youngsters were traveling alone in search of their parents who were already in the U.S. illegally. The Blaze.com reported: "Like most children who come, they made the dangerous trek believing that they would not be deported once they arrive. Some traveled clinging to the top of the train known as 'The Beast' from Central America, or piled in overcrowded buses until they reached the border towns of Mexico."
In many cases, the children’ parents had paid thousands of dollars to “polleros” — a Spanish term meaning “chicken herders” — to smuggle their children through the Rio Grande crossing. "Some of that money," said The Blaze.com, "is then paid to the drug cartels, mainly the Gulf Cartel, which controls the territory on the Mexican side of the river."
When questioned by Border Patrol, the children and adults alike consistently responded with identical, obviously rehearsed answers. Specifically, they claimed credible fear that they would be harmed or killed by violent gangs in their homelands. “It’s something they’re all saying and it’s obvious that it is well-rehearsed and it is a consistent story,” said Rio Grande Valley sector Border Patrol agent Albert Spratte. “We can’t even get them to answer their name before they tell us the gangs were the reason they fled their country.”
It was common knowledge among the border crossers that their relatives and friends who had already entered the U.S. illegally, had each received a document ordering them “to appear in court” within 90 days, and that this document had allowed them safe passage throughout the country.
But virtually none of the illegals ever reported to a court at any time thereafter. Most simply disappeared into existing immigrant communities throughout the U.S. without fear of deportation. “They have heard that anybody who crosses into the United States can stay,” said one Border Patrol agent at the site of the chaotic influx of illegals. “So they keep coming.”
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, meanwhile, emphasized that the U.S. would continue exempting young people from America’s immigration laws: “[A]lmost all of us agree that a child who crossed our border illegally with a parent, or in search of a parent or a better life, was not making an adult choice to break our laws and should be treated differently than adult law-breakers.”
Notwithstanding the high unemployment rate (about 20%) among American young adults without high-school diplomas, Johnson announced that 560,000 illegal immigrants would soon be given formal work authorization in the United States. Meanwhile, the Obama Labor Department had recently authorized the admission of an additional 100,000 guest workers.
By July 2014, the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) was reporting that the illegal minors from Central America were being permitted to board U.S. passenger jets without having any identification; the only papers they need to show airline employees were their Notice to Appear forms -- simple printouts with no photo or security features.
Hector Garza, the spokesman for one of the NBPC's branches, explained: "This is not the CBP [Customs and Border Protection] or another federal agency renting or leasing an aircraft, these are the same planes that the American public uses for domestic travel.... Not only are we releasing unknown illegal aliens onto American streets, but we are allowing them to travel commercially using paperwork that could easily be reproduced or manipulated on any home computer.... We do not know who these people are ... We know nothing about most of them, ICE releases them into the American public, and now they are boarding aircraft at will with a simple paper document."
An NBPC statement backed up Garza's claims: "The fact that TSA is accepting the I-862 [Notice to Appear] as a form of identification and allowing illegal aliens to travel commercially shows just how little regard the federal government has for its own immigration laws."
Garza also reported: "Approximately 70 percent of the border patrol agents have been reassigned for administrative duties including processing of aliens, transporting aliens, and ... leaving a porous border in the country."
Obama Administration Falsely Claims to Have Been Surprised by the Sudden Influx of Unaccompanied Illegal Minors
The Obama administration claimed to have been surprised by the wave of Central American children flooding across the southern U.S. border. But this claim is contradicted by the fact that on January 29, 2014 -- less than five months earlier -- the federal government had posted an advertisement seeking bids for a vendor contract to handle 65,000 "Unaccompanied Alien Children." That figure is highly significant, in light of the fact that the highest number (of unaccompanied alien minors) ever previously encountered in a given year was 5,000.
Obama Administration Has Delivered 290,000 Illegals to U.S. Homes
On July 5, 2014, the Daily Caller reported:
The vast majority of 50,000 unaccompanied youths and children who have illegally crossed the Texas border during the last few months have been successfully delivered by federal agencies to their relatives living in the United States, according to a New York Times article.
A second New York Times article report revealed that officials have caught an additional 240,000 Central American migrants since April, and are transporting many of them to their destinations throughout the United States.
The 290,000 illegals — so far — are exploiting legal loopholes that allow them to get temporary permits to stay in the United States.
Experts say that President Barack Obama’s administration has failed to close the loopholes and is unlikely to deport more than a small percentage of the illegals, despite the high unemployment rates among American Latino, African-American and white youths, and the strapped budgets of many cities and towns.
Illegal Immigrant Flood Makes U.S. Vulnerable to Hamas and Hezbollah, Which Are Known to Be Working with Mexican Drug Cartels
The uncontrolled crossing of America's southern border left the U.S. vulnerable to possible attack by Islamic terrorists and jihadists, who had long been known to be working with Mexican drug cartels and, in fact, to already have a presence in the United States. At a March 2012 hearing, for instance, House Homeland Security Chairman Pete King said that "at a minimum" there are hundreds of "soldiers of Hezbollah" inside the United States.
At the same hearing, Michael Braun, the former chief of operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration, testified that Mexican drug cartels were in "very close contact" with Hezbollah, Hamas, and al Qaeda. He then warned of a "nightmare scenario" in which Hezbollah and the Iranian al Quds force "focus on our Southwest border and use that as perhaps a springboard in attacking our country." Added Braun: "If anyone thinks for a moment that Hezbollah and the [Iranian] Quds Force, the masters at leveraging and exploiting existing illicit infrastructures globally, are not going to focus on our Southwest border and use that as perhaps a springboard in attacking our country, then they just don’t understand how the real underworld works.”
Rep. King, meanwhile, told the hearing, "we know" that Iranian-supported Hezbollah "is in America" and "has been trained to lie low for years." Added King:
"Since 9/11, America's counter-terror officials have focused on finding al Qaeda operatives inside America, as weill as homegrown radicalized Islamist extremists ready to perpetrate violence against our people. Now, as Iran moves closer to nuclear wepaons, and there is increasing concern over war between Iran and Israel, we must also focus on Iran's secret operatives and their No. 1 terrorist proxy force, Hezbollah, which we know is in America.... We know Hezbollah operatives are here. The question is whether these Hezbollah operatives have the capacity to carry out attacks on the homeland, and how quickly they can become fully operational. More than 20 federal investigation since 9/11 identified by the majority's investigative staff offer a chilling view of Iranian and Hezbollah's operations inside the United States.... So will Iran launch terror strikes inside our homeland if it feels threatened? In light of last year's bomb plot, in light of the 20 Hezbollah cases prosecuted since 9/11, and in light of Hezbollah attacks overseas, we have a duty to prepare for the worst."
Obama Honors Illegal Aliens
On June 17, 2014, the Obama White House honored ten young illegal immigrants who had come to the United States as minors and had qualified for the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program -- enacted through an executive order in 2012 -- which had spared such young people from deportation. Obama honored the ten as “Champions of Change,” because they “serve as success stories and role models in their academic and professional spheres.”
Obama Holds Fundraiser with Producer of Film That Advocated Violence Against Opponents of Illegal Immigration
In early July 2014, President Obama held a fundraiser at the luxurious Austin, Texas home of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, director of the 2010 movie Machete. Tickets to the fundraiser were priced between $5,000 and $32,400.
Machete was a highly violent and racist movie whose trailer was released with “a special Cinco de Mayo message for Arizona.” It ended with illegal aliens massacring the fictional version of Minutemen Project volunteers. (The Minutemen Project was a volunteer, grassroots effort initiated in April 2005 by private citizens who monitored sections of the Arizona-Mexico border in an effort to assist the undermanned Border Patrol.)
A Breitbart.com review of the film read as follows:
"The story of a former Mexican 'Federale' ... framed for the attempted assassination of a racist Texas State Senator ... is both racial and racist. Machete isn’t about a political call for the powerless to fight THE corrupt MAN, it’s a call for revolution; Mexicans against Americans -- and in the words of the character meant to be our evolving conscience, Jessica Alba’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Sartana, it’s about how those who believe in only LEGAL immigration 'deserve to be cut down.' This is her rousing, fist-in-the-air message to a gathered army of illegal day laborers who have been patiently waiting for the call away from their jobs as dishwashers, gardeners and hotel maids to wage war against a cruel America ..."
Obama Vows to Reduce Deportations
On July 16, 2014, President Obama reassured members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that he would use his executive authority later that year to reduce deportations of illegal immigrant families who had lived and worked in the United States for years.
Obama Considers Actively Importing Illegal Aliens from Honduras, and Transporting them to U.S.
On July 24, 2014, White House officials announced that President Obama was considering creating a pilot program which would give refugee status to young people from Honduras while they were still in their home country, and would transport them by plane to the U.S., so as to allow them to avoid making the dangerous and onerous northward trek through Mexico on foot or by train. According to the White House, this program would start in Honduras and be limited in scope, but if successful could be expanded to include youngsters from other Central American countries as well. If the plan were to be implemented, it would represent the first time in world history that any nation had taken such action.
The Obama administration claimed that this plan was intended as a measure to slow the influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America. But critics quickly pointed out that in fact it would increase the flow of illegals. Moreover, radio host Rush Limbaugh predicted that the program would soon lead to the importation of the children's parents as well:
"Are they [the children] gonna turn around at the top step [as they board a plane to the U.S.] and wave bye to mom and dad? And if they do, what is up with that? Who in the world would permit that? So at some point you have to believe that the [Obama] Regime will start tugging at our heart strings and say, 'You know, these kids are here without their parents! We can't allow that to happen,' and then they'll act like there's a big effort being made to find their parents, and then bring them here."
Obama Considers Granting Work Authorization to Millions of Illegals
On July 24, 2014, Time.com reported: "When President Obama issues executive orders on immigration in coming weeks, pro-reform activists are expecting something dramatic: temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for perhaps several million undocumented immigrants."
It was also being reported extensively that Obama's executive actions would probably include an expansion of his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, so as to encompass an additional 5 to 6 million adult illegal immigrants.
Obama's executive action was expected to take place by “the end of summer.”
Obama's Planned Executive Action Explicitly Contradicts Statements He Had Previously Made Regarding His Lack of Constitutional Authority to Take Such Action, As Well As Statements He Would Subsequently Make:
* On March 31, 2008, Obama said: “I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with [the president] trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President of the United States of America.”
* On May 19, 2008, Obama said: “We’ve got a government designed by the Founders so that there’d be checks and balances. You don’t want a president who’s too powerful or a Congress that’s too powerful or a court that’s too powerful. Everybody’s got their own role. Congress’s job is to pass legislation. The president can veto it or he can sign it. … I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States. We're not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end-run around Congress.”
* On May 5, 2010, Obama said: “Comprehensive reform, that's how we're going to solve this problem. … Anybody who tells you it's going to be easy or that I can wave a magic wand and make it happen hasn't been paying attention to how this town works.”
* On July 1, 2010, Obama said: “[T]here are those in the immigrants’ rights community who have argued passionately that we should simply provide those who are [here] illegally with legal status, or at least ignore the laws on the books and put an end to deportation until we have better laws. ... I believe such an indiscriminate approach would be both unwise and unfair. It would suggest to those thinking about coming here illegally that there will be no repercussions for such a decision. And this could lead to a surge in more illegal immigration. And it would also ignore the millions of people around the world who are waiting in line to come here legally. Ultimately, our nation, like all nations, has the right and obligation to control its borders and set laws for residency and citizenship. And no matter how decent they are, no matter their reasons, the 11 million who broke these laws should be held accountable.”
* On October 14, 2010, Obama said, "I can't simply ignore laws that are out there. I've got to work to make sure that they are changed."
* On October 25, 2010, Obama said: “I am president, I am not king. I can't do these things just by myself. We have a system of government that requires the Congress to work with the Executive Branch to make it happen. I'm committed to making it happen, but I've got to have some partners to do it. … The main thing we have to do to stop deportations is to change the laws. … [T]he most important thing that we can do is to change the law because the way the system works – again, I just want to repeat, I'm president, I'm not king. If Congress has laws on the books that says that people who are here who are not documented have to be deported, then I can exercise some flexibility in terms of where we deploy our resources, to focus on people who are really causing problems as a opposed to families who are just trying to work and support themselves. But there's a limit to the discretion that I can show because I am obliged to execute the law. That's what the Executive Branch means. I can't just make the laws up by myself. So the most important thing that we can do is focus on changing the underlying laws.”
* During a March 28, 2011 Univision Town Hall at Bell Multicultural High School in Washington, DC, President Obama said:
“Well, first of all, temporary protective status historically has been used for special circumstances where you have immigrants to this country who are fleeing persecution in their countries, or there is some emergency situation in their native land that required them to come to the United States. So it would not be appropriate to use that just for a particular group that came here primarily, for example, because they were looking for economic opportunity.
"With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed — and I know that everybody here at Bell is studying hard, so you know that we’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.
"There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.“
* On April 20, 2011, Obama said: “I can't solve this problem by myself. … [W]e're going to have to have bipartisan support in order to make it happen. … I can't do it by myself. We're going to have to change the laws in Congress, but I'm confident we can make it happen.”
* On April 29, 2011, Obama said: “I know some here wish that I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself. But that’s not how democracy works. See, democracy is hard. But it’s right. Changing our laws means doing the hard work of changing minds and changing votes, one by one.”
* On May 10, 2011, Obama said: “Sometimes when I talk to immigration advocates, they wish I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself. But that’s not how a democracy works. What we really need to do is to keep up the fight to pass genuine, comprehensive reform. That is the ultimate solution to this problem. That's what I’m committed to doing.”
* At the National Council of La Raza's annual meeting in Washington, DC on July 25, 2011, Obama said:
“I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books, but that doesn't mean I don't know very well the real pain and heartbreak that deportations cause. I share your concerns and I understand them. And I promise you, we are responding to your concerns and working every day to make sure we are enforcing flawed laws in the most humane and best possible way. Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own -- and believe me, right now, dealing with Congress. Believe me -- believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you. Not just on immigration reform. But that's not how -- that's not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written.”
* During a September 28, 2011 “Open for Questions” roundtable discussion of issues important to Hispanics, Obama again stated that he could not act on immigration unilaterally: “So what we’ve tried to do is within the constraints of the laws on the books, we’ve tried to be as fair, humane, just as we can, recognizing, though, that the laws themselves need to be changed. … The most important thing for your viewers and listeners and readers to understand is that in order to change our laws, we’ve got to get it through the House of Representatives, which is currently controlled by Republicans, and we’ve got to get 60 votes in the Senate. … Administratively, we can't ignore the law. … I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce. And I think there’s been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things. It’s just not true. … We live in a democracy. You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it. And if all the attention is focused away from the legislative process, then that is going to lead to a constant dead-end. We have to recognize how the system works, and then apply pressure to those places where votes can be gotten and, ultimately, we can get this thing solved.”
* In September 2012, Obama said: “Now, what I’ve always said is, as the head of the executive branch, there’s a limit to what I can do. Part of the reason that deportations went up was Congress put a whole lot of money into it, and when you have a lot of resources and a lot more agents involved, then there are going to be higher numbers. What we’ve said is, let’s make sure that you’re not misdirecting those resources. But we’re still going to, ultimately, have to change the laws in order to avoid some of the heartbreaking stories that you see coming up occasionally. And that’s why this continues to be a top priority of mine. … And we will continue to make sure that how we enforce is done as fairly and justly as possible. But until we have a law in place that provides a pathway for legalization and/or citizenship for the folks in question, we’re going to continue to be bound by the law. … And so part of the challenge as President is constantly saying, ‘what authorities do I have?’”
* On October 16, 2012, Obama said: “We are a nation of immigrants. … But we're also a nation of laws. So what I've said is, we need to fix a broken immigration system. And I've done everything that I can on my own[.]”
* On January 30, 2013, Obama said: “I'm not a king. I am the head of the executive branch of government. I'm required to follow the law. And that's what we've done. But what I've also said is, let's make sure that we're applying the law in a way that takes into account people's humanity. That's the reason that we moved forward on deferred action. Within the confines of the law we said, we have some discretion in terms of how we apply this law.”
* Also on January 30, 2013, Obama said: “I’m not a king. You know, my job as the head of the executive branch ultimately is to carry out the law. And, you know, when it comes to enforcement of our immigration laws, we’ve got some discretion. We can prioritize what we do. But we can’t simply ignore the law. When it comes to the dreamers, we were able to identify that group and say, ‘These folks are generally not a risk. They’re not involved in crime. … And so let’s prioritize our enforcement resources.’ But to sort through all the possible cases of everybody who might have a sympathetic story to tell is very difficult to do. This is why we need comprehensive immigration reform. To make sure that once and for all, in a way that is, you know, ratified by Congress, we can say that there is a pathway to citizenship for people who are staying out of trouble, who are trying to do the right thing, who’ve put down roots here. … My job is to carry out the law. And so Congress gives us a whole bunch of resources. They give us an order that we’ve got to go out there and enforce the laws that are on the books. … If this was an issue that I could do unilaterally I would have done it a long time ago. … The way our system works is Congress has to pass legislation. I then get an opportunity to sign it and implement it.”
* During a Google Hangout on February 14, 2013, an activist asked Obama whether he could unilaterally do more to keep the families of illegal immigrants from being “broken apart.” The president replied, “This is something that I have struggled with throughout my presidency. The problem is, is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed. And Congress right now has not changed what I consider to be a broken immigration system. And what that means is that we have certain obligations to enforce the laws that are in place even if we think that in many cases the results may be tragic.”
* On July 16, 2013, Obama said: “I think that it is very important for us to recognize that the way to solve this problem has to be legislative. I can do some things and have done some things that make a difference in the lives of people by determining how our enforcement should focus. … And we’ve been able to provide help through deferred action for young people …. But this is a problem that needs to be fixed legislatively.”
* In a Telemundo interview on September 17, 2013, Obama said he was proud of having protected the so-called “Dreamers” — people who came to the United States illegally as minor children — from deportation. But he added that he could not legally do the same for other groups of immigrants. “If we start broadening that, then essentially I’ll be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally,” the president stated. “So that’s not an option.”
* During an Obama speech in San Francisco on November 25, 2013, a heckler yelled to the president that he "has the power to stop deportation." An irritated Obama retorted that he did not have that authority because: "We're also a nation of laws. That's part of our tradition. And so, the easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws," Obama said, adding: "And what I'm proposing is the harder path, which is to use our democratic processes to achieve the same goal that you want to achieve. But it won't be as easy as just shouting. It requires us lobbying and getting it done."
* On March 6, 2014, Obama said: “I am the Champion-in-Chief of comprehensive immigration reform. But what I’ve said in the past remains true, which is until Congress passes a new law, then I am constrained in terms of what I am able to do. What I’ve done is to use my prosecutorial discretion, because you can’t enforce the laws across the board for 11 or 12 million people, there aren’t the resources there. What we’ve said is focus on folks who are engaged in criminal activity, focus on people who are engaged in gang activity. Do not focus on young people, who we’re calling DREAMers …. That already stretched my administrative capacity very far. But I was confident that that was the right thing to do. But at a certain point the reason that these deportations are taking place is, Congress said, ‘you have to enforce these laws.’ They fund the hiring of officials at the department that’s charged with enforcing. And I cannot ignore those laws any more than I could ignore, you know, any of the other laws that are on the books. That’s why it’s so important for us to get comprehensive immigration reform done this year.”
* On August 6, 2014, Obama said: “I think that I never have a green light [to push the limits of executive power]. I’m bound by the Constitution; I’m bound by separation of powers. There are some things we can’t do. Congress has the power of the purse, for example. … Congress has to pass a budget and authorize spending. So I don’t have a green light. … My preference in all these instances is to work with Congress, because not only can Congress do more, but it’s going to be longer-lasting.”
Obama Sees Racism As the Cause of Opposition to Immigration Reform
In an August 2014 interview with The Economist, President Obama derided "the dysfunction of a Republican Party that knows we need immigration reform, knows that it would actually be good for its long-term prospects, but is captive to the nativist elements in its party."
Armed and Violent Criminals Among the Illegal Border Crossers
In early August 2014, Larry Spence, the sheriff leading the investigation into the brutal slaying of Border Control Agent Javier Vega Jr. by two illegal immigrants who had previously been deported six times between them, reported that local farmers in his county were seeing gangs of Mexicans "in military fatigues" -- some armed with rifles -- walking single-file through their fields. According to Spence, the problem on the border was reaching a crisis point.
Obama Cites "Immigration Rights"
On September 1, 2014 in Milwaukee, President Obama exhorted a crowd of his union-affiliated supporters to vote for Democrats in the upcoming November elections, despite the struggling U.S. economy. Said Obama: “Cynicism is a bad choice…. Hope is what gives young people the strength to march for women’s rights, and worker’s rights, and civil rights, and voting rights, and gay rights and immigration rights.” That “immigration rights” phrase “implies that some people have the right to move here,” said Center of Immigration Studies director Mark Krikorian. “It is supposed to be Congress [which decides who can immigrate], but what the president seems to be saying is that ‘If migrants themselves decides to immigrate, and if they are here long enough, we’ll let them stay.’”
Obama Decides to Delay Issuing Executive Order Against Deportations Until After the November Elections
On September 6, 2014, White House officials announced that President Obama would wait until after the upcoming November elections to issue his highly anticipated executive order protecting millions of illegals from deportation and granting them work permits. Previously, Obama had said he would act to change immigration rules by “the end of summer.” But Democrats pushed the president to delay his action because it would likely harm their party and its candidates in the 2014 midterm elections.
ISIS Terrorists Are Apprehended Crossing Southern U.S. Border
In early October 2014, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California) – a member of the House Armed Services Committee – said that “at least ten” al-Qaeda members had recently been apprehended while entering Texas by way of its porous southern border with Mexico. Said Hunter: “If they catch five or ten of them then you know there’s going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the border patrol.”
167,000 Convicted Criminal Immigrants "At Large" in the U.S.
On October 15, 2014, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a new report (derived mainly from an internal Department of Homeland Security document) indicating that deportations from the interior of the United States were 34% below 2013 levels. The author of the report, CIS director of policy studies Jessica Vaughan, indicated that nearly 167,000 convicted criminal immigrants with final orders of removal were still “currently at large” in the United States. “Prosecutorial discretion as practiced by the Obama administration,” said Vaughan, “has transformed immigration enforcement into a massive catch-and-release program that makes a joke of the law, fails to deter illegal settlement, and allows even illegal aliens who commit crimes to remain here. These policies inflict real harm on Americans and legal immigrants, in the form of lost jobs, depressed wages, additional social services, and even lost lives. In addition, with the rise of ISIS and other terrorist groups around the world, our lax policies represent an unnecessary national security risk.”
Obama Administration to Expedite Family Reunification for Haitians
On October 17, 2014, the Obama administration announced that starting in 2015 it would implement a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, which would reduce the delays facing many of the 100,000 Haitians who had already been approved to join family members in the United States and become legal permanent residents but were waiting to receive their visas.
Timeline of the Obama Administration's Non-Enforcement of Immigration Laws
On November 14, 2014, the office of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) published the following extensive timeline of instances where the Obama administration had elected not to enforce existing immigration laws:
January 2009: Obama Administration Ends Worksite Enforcement Actions
In early 2009, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executed a raid (initiated and planned under the Bush administration) on an engine machine shop in Bellingham, Washington, detaining 28 illegal immigrants who were using fake Social Security numbers and identity documents. Shortly thereafter, pro-amnesty groups criticized the Administration for enforcing the law. An unnamed DHS official was quoted in the Washington Times as saying, “the Secretary is not happy about it and this is not her policy.” Instead of enforcing the law, the Secretary investigated the ICE agents for simply doing their duty. Esther Olavarria, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, said on a call with employers and pro-amnesty groups that “we’re not doing raids or audits under this administration.”
January 29, 2009: Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano Delays E-Verify Deadline
Secretary Napolitano delayed the original deadlines of January 15, 2009 and February 20, 2009, which were set by President George W. Bush, for federal contractors to use E-Verify to May 21, 2009.
April 16, 2009: Secretary Napolitano Delays E-Verify Deadline a Second Time
Secretary Napolitano again delayed the deadline for federal contractors to use E-Verify, this time to June 30, 2009.
June 3, 2009: Secretary Napolitano Delays E-Verify Deadline a Third Time
For the third time, Secretary Napolitano delayed the deadline for federal contractors to use E- Verify requirement to September 8, 2009.
March 8, 2010: ICE Inflates Deportation Statistics
According to the Washington Post: “Months after reporting that the number of illegal immigrants removed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement increased 47 percent during President Obama’s first year in office, the Department of Homeland Security on Monday corrected the record, saying the actual increase in those deported and ‘voluntary departures’ was 5 percent.”
March 16, 2010: DHS Announces Termination of Funding for Virtual Fence Along the Southwestern Border
Secretary Napolitano announced that, effective immediately, DHS would redeploy $50 million of stimulus funding originally allocated for virtual fence technology because “the system of sensors and cameras along the Southwest border known as SBInet has been plagued with cost overruns and missed deadlines.”
May 19, 2010: ICE Director John Morton Announces Termination of Cooperation with Arizona Law Enforcement
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Morton stated that ICE would not even process or accept illegal immigrants transferred to ICE custody by Arizona law enforcement, largely because the Administration disagreed with Arizona’s immigration law—which made it a crime to be in the state illegally and required police to check suspects for immigration documents.
May 27, 2010: Internal ICE Emails Reveal Relaxed Security and New Benefits for Detained Illegal Immigrants
An internal ICE email revealed that “low-risk” immigration detainees would be able to have visitors stay for an unlimited amount of time during a 12-hour window, be given access to unmonitored phone lines, email, free internet calling, movie nights, bingo, arts and crafts, dance and cooking classes, tutoring, and computer training.
June 18, 2010: Obama Administration Sues Arizona over Immigration Enforcement Law
The Obama Administration announced that it would sue Arizona to block the implementation of the state’s immigration enforcement law.
June 25, 2010: ICE Union Casts Unanimous Vote of “No Confidence” in Agency Leadership
The National ICE Council, the union representing more than 7,000 agents and officers, cast a unanimous vote of “No Confidence” in ICE Director Morton and Assistant Director Phyllis Coven, citing “the growing dissatisfaction and concern among ICE employees and Union Leaders that Director Morton and Assistant Director Coven have abandoned the Agency’s core mission of enforcing United States Immigration Laws and providing for public safety, and have instead directed their attention to campaigning for programs and policies related to amnesty.” The union listed some of the policies that led to the vote of No Confidence:
- “Senior ICE leadership dedicates more time to campaigning for immigration reforms aimed at large scale amnesty legislation, than advising the American public and Federal lawmakers on the severity of the illegal immigration problem . . . ICE [Enforcement and Removal Operations are] currently overwhelmed by the massive criminal alien problem in the United States resulting in the large-scale release of criminals back into local communities.”
“Criminal aliens openly brag to ICE officers that they are taking advantage of the broken immigration system and will be back in the United States within days to commit crimes, while United States citizens arrested for the same offenses serve prison sentences. . . . Thousands of other criminal aliens are released to ICE without being tried for their criminal charges. ICE senior leadership is aware that the system is broken, yet refuses to alert Congress to the severity of the situation . . . .”
“ICE is misleading the American public with regard to the effectiveness of criminal enforcement programs like the ICE ‘Secure Communities Program’ using it as a selling point to move forward with amnesty related legislation.”
“While ICE reports internally that more than 90 percent of ICE detainees are first encountered by ICE in jails after they are arrested by local police for criminal charges, ICE senior leadership misrepresents this information publicly in order to portray ICE detainees as being non-criminal in nature to support the Administration’s position on amnesty and relaxed security at ICE detention facilities.”
“The majority of ICE ERO Officers are prohibited from making street arrests or enforcing United States immigration laws outside of the institutional (jail) setting. This has effectively created ‘amnesty through policy’ for anyone illegally in the United States who has not been arrested by another agency for a criminal violation.”
“ICE Detention Reforms have transformed into a detention system aimed at providing resort like living conditions to criminal aliens. Senior ICE leadership excluded ICE officers and field managers (the technical experts on ICE detention) from the development of these reforms, and instead solicited recommendations from special interest groups. . . . Unlike any other agency in the nation, ICE officers will be prevented from searching detainees housed in ICE facilities allowing weapons, drugs and other contraband into detention centers putting detainees, ICE officers and contract guards at risk.”
July 14, 2010: Obama Administration Ignores Dangerous Sanctuary City Policies
Less than a week after suing Arizona to block its immigration law, the Department of Justice announced that it would not sue sanctuary cities, with a spokeswoman stating: “There is a big difference between a state or locality saying they are not going to use their resources to enforce a federal law, as so-called sanctuary cities have done, and a state passing its own immigration policy that actively interferes with federal law.”
July 30, 2010: Leaked U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Memo Reveals Obama Backdoor Amnesty Plan
A leaked USCIS memo to agency director Alejandro Mayorkas detailed the Obama Administration’s plan to bypass Congress and grant amnesty by executive fiat. The memo, entitled “Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” listed a number of ways the Administration could act unilaterally to “reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization” and “extend benefits and/or protections to many individuals and groups,” including many that Obama has since acted on and many that appeared in the Senate comprehensive immigration bill (S. 744).
August 2010: ICE Memo Stops Agents from Detaining Illegal Immigrants at Traffic Stops
In August 2010, ICE began internally circulating a draft policy that would significantly limit the circumstances under which ICE could detain illegal aliens. In effect, ICE agents were no longer authorized to pick up an illegal alien for illegally entering the country or for possessing false identification documents. Now, illegal aliens could only be detained if another law enforcement agency made an arrest for a criminal violation. This was the beginning of what would come to be known as “administrative amnesty.”
August 24, 2010: Reports Surface that DHS Is Closing Deportation Cases
On August 24, 2010, the Houston Chronicle reported that DHS had begun “systematically reviewing thousands of pending immigration cases and moving to dismiss those filed against suspected illegal immigrants without serious criminal records.”
September 8, 2010: Obama Administration Files Supreme Court Brief Supporting Lawsuit Challenging Arizona’s E-Verify Law
The Obama Administration argued that the Supreme Court should strike down Arizona’s 2007 E-Verify law, which was enacted by the state’s former Governor, Janet Napolitano. The law required all employers in the state to use E-Verify and revoked business licenses of those who hired illegal workers. The Supreme Court upheld the law in May 2011, finding that it was not preempted because “although Congress had made the program voluntary at the national level, it had expressed no intent to prevent States from mandating participation.”
September 16, 2010: Leaked DHS Memo Reveals Obama’s Long-Term Plan To Circumvent Congress and Grant “Broad Based” Amnesty
A leaked 10-page memo dated February 26, 2010, detailed how the Administration had “long envisioned” a two-phase “broad based” amnesty plan “legalizing those who qualify and intend to stay here.” The memo states that “during Phase 1, eligible applicants would be registered, fingerprinted, screened and considered for an interim status that allows them to work in the U.S. . . . During Phase 2, applicants who had fulfilled additional statutory requirements would be permitted to become lawful permanent residents [i.e., obtain green cards].” The memo explains how the Administration could proceed “in the absence of legislation,” including several already put in place by the Obama Administration: deferred action; deferred enforced departure; waiver of inadmissibility for certain illegal immigrants; parole-in-place. Remarkably, the memo contemplates the pros and cons of such unprecedented Executive action:
“A registration program can be messaged as a security measure to bring illegal immigrants out of the shadows.”
“A bold administrative program would transform the political landscape by using administrative measures to sidestep the current state of Congressional gridlock and inertia.”
“The Secretary would face criticism that she is abdicating her charge to enforce the immigration laws. Internal complaints of this type from career DHS officers are likely and may also be used in the press to bolster criticism.”
“Even many who have supported a legislated legalization program may question the legitimacy of trying to accomplish the same end via administrative action, particularly after five years where the two parties have treated this as a matter to be decided in Congress.”
“A program that reaches the entire population targeted for legalization would represent use of deferred action far beyond its limited class-based uses in the past (e.g. for widows). Congress may react by amending the statute to bar or greatly trim back on deferred action authority, blocking its use even for its highly important current uses in limited cases.”
“Congress could also simply negate the grant of deferred action (which by its nature is temporary and revocable) to this population. If criticism about the legitimacy of the program gain[s] traction, many supporters of legalization may find it hard to vote against such a bill.”
“The proposed timeline would require a rapid expansion of USCIS’s current application intake capacity. Significant upfront resources would be needed for hiring, training, facilities expansion and technology acquisition, and the only realistic prospect of a source of funding may be a new appropriation.”
“Immigration reform is a lightening rod [sic] that many Members of Congress would rather avoid. An administrative solution could dampen future efforts for comprehensive reform and sideline the issue in Congress indefinitely.”
“Done right, a combination of benefit and enforcement-related administrative measures could provide the Administration with a clear-cut political win. If the Administration loses control of the message, however, an aggressive administrative proposal carries significant political risk.”
“More ambitious measures would have to be carefully timed. We would need to give the legislative process enough time to play out to deflect against charges of usurping congressional authority. . . . This is likely to mean that the right time for administrative action will be late summer or fall —when the midterm election is in full-swing.”
“The President could make the case that the nation’s economic and national security can wait no longer for Congress. Administrative action is necessary to restores [sic] rule of law by ending illegal hiring, requiring individuals who are unlawfully present to pass background checks or get deported, and guaranteeing that all employers and workers are paying their fair share of taxes. Clearing backlogs of family-based visas would be an added bonus.”
“If the American public reacts poorly to an administrative registration effort, Congress could be motivated to enact legislation tying the Administration’s hands. This could result, in the worst case scenario, in legislation that diminishes the Secretary’s discretion to use parole or deferred action in other contexts. A heated fight could also poison the atmosphere for any future legislative reform effort.”
October 17, 2010: DHS Dismissals of Deportation Cases Up 700 Percent
According to an October 17, 2010 article in the Houston Chronicle, the government dismissed— unsolicited—hundreds of deportation cases, up 700 percent between July and August 2010. The article states that “government attorneys in Houston were instructed to exercise prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis for illegal immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for at least two years and have no serious criminal history.”
December 2010: Internal ICE Emails Reveal Padded Deportation Statistics
On October 8, 2010, Secretary Napolitano and ICE Director Morton announced that in 2010 ICE had “removed more illegal aliens than in any other period in the history of our nation.” On December 6, 2010, however, the Washington Post reported that internal ICE emails revealed ICE had padded its deportation statistics by including 19,422 removals that were from the previous fiscal year. The article also described how ICE extended a Mexican repatriation program beyond its normal operation dates, adding 6,500 to the final removal numbers.
February 15, 2011: DHS Ignores Mandate To Maintain Operational Control of the Border
During a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, Chair Candice Miller announced that, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), U.S. Customs and Border Protection maintains operational control of only 69 of the roughly 4,000 miles along the northern border and only 873 of the almost 2,000 miles along the southwestern border. Under the Secure Fence Act of 2006, Congress required DHS to achieve and maintain operational control, which is defined as “the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.”
March 2, 2011: Morton Administrative Amnesty Memo #1
In the first of a series of memos, ICE Director Morton outlines new enforcement “priorities”— convicted criminals, terrorists, gang members, recent illegal entrants, and fugitives. The memo encourages ICE employees to exercise prosecutorial discretion for illegal immigrants who do not meet these priorities and directs ICE field office directors to not “expend detention resources” on certain illegal immigrants.
March 30, 2011: 9/11 Commission Chair Warns Administration’s Delays of Biometric Exit and REAL ID Risk National Security
Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, 9/11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean warned that “border security remains a top national security priority, because there is an indisputable nexus between terrorist operations and terrorist travel. Foreign-born terrorists have continued to exploit our border vulnerabilities to gain access to the United States.” In his testimony, he highlighted two programs that the Obama Administration had delayed. He emphasized that “full deployment of the biometric exit component of US-VISIT should be a high priority. If law enforcement and intelligence officials had known for certain in August and September 2001 that 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar remained in the U.S., the search for them might have taken on greater urgency.” He also noted that “no further delay [in compliance with the REAL ID Act] should be authorized, rather compliance should be accelerated.”
May 10, 2011: Obama Declares the Border Secure and the Fence “Basically Complete”
In a speech in El Paso, Texas, Obama stated that his administration has “strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible” and that the border fence “is now basically complete,” despite the fact that only 33.7 miles of the 700 miles of fence mandated by the Secure Fence Act of 2006 had been completed by that time. Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Michael McCaul responded to the President’s claim, stating “the border is not secure and it has never been more violent or dangerous. Anyone who lives down there will tell you that.”
June 1, 2011: Obama Administration Ignores New York’s Refusal to Cooperate with Federal Immigration Agents
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he was suspending New York’s participation in the Secure Communities program, which allows law enforcement agencies to run the fingerprints of those arrested against immigration databases, because of “its impact on families, immigrant communities and law enforcement in New York.” The Obama Administration takes no action.
June 17, 2011: Morton Administrative Amnesty Memo #2
Morton issued a second memo further directing ICE agents not to enforce the law against certain segments of the illegal immigrant population, including those who would qualify for the DREAM Act, despite having no legal or congressional authority to do so and despite the fact that Congress had explicitly rejected the legislation three times.
June 17, 2011: Morton Administrative Amnesty Memo #3
Morton issued a third memo instructing ICE personal to refrain from enforcing the law against individuals engaging in “protected activity” related to civil or other rights (for example, union organizing or complaining to authorities about employment discrimination or housing conditions).
June 23, 2011: ICE Union Outraged Over Morton Administrative Amnesty Memos
The ICE union issued a press release expressing outrage over Director Morton’s actions, stating: “Unable to pass its immigration agenda through legislation, the Administration is now implementing it through agency policy.” The release further stated that ICE leadership and the Administration “have excluded our union and our agents from the entire process of developing policies, it was all kept secret from us, we found out from the newspapers. ICE [leadership] worked hand-in-hand with immigrants rights groups, but excluded its own officers.” Describing ICE policy as a “law enforcement nightmare,” union president Chris Crane stated “the result is a means for every person here illegally to avoid arrest or detention, as officers we will never know who we can or cannot arrest.” The release concluded: “we are asking everyone to please email or call your Congressman and Senators immediately and ask them to help stop what’s happening at ICE, we desperately need your help.”
June 27, 2011: DHS Cover-Up of Backdoor Amnesty Policy Revealed
The Houston Chronicle reported that internal ICE emails and memos revealed that DHS “officials misled the public and Congress in an effort to downplay a wave of immigration case dismissals in Houston and other cities that they had created a ‘back-door amnesty.’” In one instance, DHS Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Nelson Peacock wrote a letter to several members of the Senate Judiciary Committee denying the existence of a directive “instructing ICE attorneys to seek the dismissals of immigration proceedings involving certain classes of criminal aliens”— a directive which not only existed, but had been praised by senior ICE officials.
August 1, 2011: Obama Administration Sues Alabama over Immigration Enforcement Law
The Obama Administration filed a lawsuit to block implementation of Alabama’s immigration enforcement law, which authorizes state law enforcement to act when they reasonably suspect individuals are violating federal immigration laws.
August 18, 2011: Administration Begins Case-by-Case Review of Deportation Cases for Purposes of Granting Administrative Amnesty
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Secretary Napolitano announced that the Administration had begun a case-by-case review of all pending and incoming deportation cases and will stop proceedings against those illegal immigrants who do not meet administration “priorities.”
September 2, 2011: Treasury Inspector General Reports Government Paying Billions in Tax Credits to Illegal Immigrants
A report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) revealed that the IRS paid out a staggering $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits to illegal immigrants via the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) in 2010. The inspector general stated: “Millions of people are seeking this tax credit who, we believe, are not entitled to it. We have made recommendations to the IRS as to how they could address this, and they have not taken sufficient action in our view to solve this problem.” The report further stated that “the payment of Federal funds through this tax benefit appears to provide an additional incentive for aliens to enter, reside, and work in the United States without authorization, which contradicts Federal law and policy to remove such incentives.”
September 7, 2011: Cook County (Chicago), Illinois Board of Commissioners Votes To Ignore Federal Immigration Law
The Cook County Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance directing local law enforcement to refuse ICE detainer requests and access to individuals or County facilities. While Morton acknowledged that the ordinance posed a serious threat to public safety and likely violates federal law, the Administration’s only action was to offer to pay Cook County to honor the detainers and to set up a “working group,” both of which the Board rejected. ICE Executive Associate Director of Enforcement and Removal Operations said the policy presents a major problem for enforcement efforts and was an “accident waiting to happen.”
In June 2011, Saul Chavez, who had a prior DUI conviction, was driving with a blood-alcohol content of nearly four times the legal limit when he hit 66-year-old William “Dennis” McCann. While attempting to escape, Chavez drove his car over McCann’s body, dragging him 200 yards before a witness stopped his vehicle. Chavez was charged with two felonies, and ICE issued a detainer asking Cook County to hold him until he could be taken into federal custody. But, pursuant to Cook County’s new anti-detainer law, he was released when he posted 10 percent of his $250,000 bail. He has since disappeared and is believed to have fled the county.
In February 2012, it was reported that 11 of the 345 inmates released under this policy had reoffended.
September 28, 2011: Obama Admits Deportation Statistics Are “Deceptive”
At a roundtable with amnesty advocates, President Obama admitted that his deportation statistics were misleading: “The statistics are actually a little deceptive because what we’ve been doing is . . . apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation, even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours.”
October 18, 2011: Obama Administration Ignores Santa Clara County’s Defiance of Federal Immigration Law
The Administration refused to take action when the Santa Clara County, California, Board of Supervisors voted to stop using county funds to honor ICE detainers, except in limited circumstances. Santa Clara County’s failure to cooperate with Secure Communities continues to this day.
In August 2013, illegal immigrant Mario Chavez was arrested after threatening his 6-year- old son with a knife. His wife obtained a protective order but Chavez made bail and was released from jail instead of being held for further investigation by ICE. A month later, Chavez went to his family’s new home where he then stabbed his wife to death. According to a report in San Jose Mercury News, ICE officials “contend they could have kept Chavez off the streets,” but the county’s policy limits access that ICE has to inmates. The official reportedly said, “We’re not asking them to do our job. We’re asking them to let us do our job.”
October 18, 2011: ICE Continues To Pad Deportation Statistics
On October 18, 2011, ICE announced its year-end deportation statistics, which it described as “the largest number in the agency’s history.” However, according to the 2010 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, published by DHS’s Office of Immigration Statistics, ICE is detaining far fewer illegal immigrants than ever before, locating fewer than half the number of deportable aliens in 2010 than it did in 2006.
October 19, 2011: Obama Administration Ignores Washington, D.C.’s Defiance of Federal Immigration Law
The administration refused to act when District of Columbia Mayor Vincent C. Gray issued an order to prevent local law enforcement from enforcing federal immigration laws. In June 2012, the D.C. Council unanimously voted to further restrict cooperation with ICE, requiring that suspected illegal immigrants can be detained only if they have prior convictions for violent crimes, among other things. According to the Washington Post, a spokeswoman for ICE stated that “ICE has not sought to compel compliance through legal proceedings. Jurisdictions that ignore detainers bear the risk of possible public safety risks.”
October 28, 2011: Administration Stops Routine Border Searches
According to the Associated Press, Border Patrol field offices nationwide received orders from DHS headquarters to stop regular inspections at transportation hubs—both at the border and in the interior of the country—such as random stops and investigations of suspicious behavior, and instead act only based on actual intelligence indicating a threat. The article noted that “halting the practice has baffled agents” who said it was “an effective way to catch unlawful immigrants, including smugglers and possible terrorists.” The National Border Patrol Council, the union representing Border Patrol agents, responded to the changes: “Stated plainly, Border Patrol mangers are increasing the layers of bureaucracy and making it as difficult as possible for Border Patrol agents to conduct their core duties. The only risks being managed by this move are too many apprehensions, negative media attention and complaints generated by immigrant rights groups.”
October 31, 2011: Obama Administration Sues South Carolina over Immigration Enforcement Law
The Justice Department filed suit against South Carolina, challenging the state’s immigration enforcement law.
November 7, 2011: USCIS Stops Issuing “Notices to Appear” in Immigration Court for Non-Priority Deportation Cases
Following ICE’s lead, USCIS Director Mayorkas issued a new Policy Memorandum stating that USCIS will no longer issue “notices to appear” in immigration court to illegal immigrants who do not meet the Administration’s deportation priorities.
November 17, 2011: ICE Announces Review of Entire Immigration Court Docket in an Effort To Close More Deportation Cases
The ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor issued a new policy memo instructing all agency attorneys to “begin a review of incoming cases and cases pending in immigration court” and identify the cases eligible for “prosecutorial discretion in the form of administrative closure,” i.e., administrative amnesty.
November 22, 2011: Obama Administration Sues Utah over Immigration Enforcement Law
The Obama Administration filed a lawsuit to block provisions of Utah’s immigration enforcement law. This is the fourth lawsuit by the Administration against a state that enacted such a law.
November 22, 2011: Obama Administration Ignores New York City’s Defiance of Federal Immigration Law
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a measure directing city jails to ignore certain requests by ICE to maintain custody of an illegal immigrant, so as to give ICE the opportunity to assume custody. To date, the Obama Administration has taken no action against New York City to compel compliance.
December 11, 2011: Reports Surface That Obama Will Reduce National Guard at the Border
According to several reports, the Obama Administration would reduce the 1,200 National Guard troops stationed along the southwestern border. From 2006 to 2008, under the Bush administration, thousands of troops worked along the border as part of “Operation Jumpstart” to free up Border Patrol to focus on border security. On April 17, 2012, the Administration reduced the number to 300; there are currently about 130 Guard members stationed on the border.
December 15, 2011: DHS Rescinds Maricopa County, Arizona’s 287(g) Agreement
DHS rescinded Maricopa County, Arizona’s 287(g) agreement—a cooperative agreement whereby local law enforcement receive training in identifying and apprehending illegal aliens. Director Morton told the Maricopa County Attorney that ICE will no longer respond to calls from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office involving traffic stops, civil infractions or “other minor offenses.” DHS’ legal reasoning is unclear, given that federal law requires the federal government to respond to inquiries by law enforcement agencies to verify immigration status.
December 29, 2011: ICE Creates 24-Hotline for Illegal Immigrant Detainees
ICE announced a new 24-hour hotline for illegal immigrant detainees to ensure that they “are made aware of their rights.” The hotline is to be staffed by the Law Enforcement Support Center, which ICE had previously claimed was too understaffed to respond to local law enforcement trying to verify immigration status. ICE also revised its detainer form to include a new provision that said ICE should “consider this request for a detainer operative only upon the subject’s conviction”—a change in policy that explicitly ignores that illegal presence is a violation of federal law.
January 5, 2012: DHS Stops Secure Communities in Alabama in Retaliation for State Immigration Enforcement Law
According to an email from DHS to member of the Alabama congressional delegation, DHS stopped the roll-out of Secure Communities in the state because the Administration disagreed with the state’s immigration enforcement law: “Although the federal courts have enjoined several parts of H.B. 56, certain provisions were not enjoined and are currently in effect . . . . While these provisions of Alabama’s state immigration enforcement law, which conflict with ICE’s immigration enforcement policies and programs, remain the subject of litigation, ICE does not believe it is appropriate to expand deployment of Secure Communities . . . in Alabama.”
January 6, 2012: USCIS Announces Proposal To Permit an Entire Segment of Illegal Immigrant Population To Remain in the U.S
USCIS announced a proposed rule to allow the illegal immigrant relatives of U.S. citizens to apply for waivers to remain in U.S., thereby avoiding the law that requires them to return to their home countries and apply for a waiver. On January 3, 2013, USCIS issued the final rule. During a stakeholder call, USCIS Director Mayorkas emphasized that USCIS would also consider expanding the waiver to illegal immigrant relatives of green card holders and clarified that even illegal immigrants in deportation proceedings who had their case administratively closed are eligible for these waivers. On January 24, 2014, USCIS issued field guidance for the program, instructing USCIS officers that an applicant with a criminal history is still eligible for a waiver as long as the offense qualifies as a “petty offense” or “youthful offender” exception under the INA and is not a crime involving moral turpitude.
January 9, 2012: Inspector General Reveals Rubberstamping of Immigration Applications
A report by the DHS Inspector General revealed that USCIS officials pressure employees to approve applications that should have been denied and that employees believe they do not have enough time to complete interviews of applicants, “leav[ing] ample opportunities for critical information to be overlooked. One [adjudicator] said that an [adjudicator] is likely to ‘grant and just move on,’ rather than use information to make a better determination in certain cases.” Ninety percent of those surveyed felt they did not have enough time to complete interviews of applicants.
January 16, 2012: ICE Prosecutors Suspend Deportation Proceedings
Due to the immigration court docket review ordered by the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor in November 2011, ICE prosecutors in Denver and Baltimore must spend their time reviewing thousands of deportation cases to determine which are eligible for administrative amnesty. As a result, proceedings in immigration courts were stopped for six weeks. On January 19, 2012, ICE prosecutors recommended the voluntary closure of 1,667 deportation cases. On March 30, 2012, the Administration announced the expansion of the program to Detroit, Seattle, New Orleans and Orlando, suspending the immigration court dockets in four large cities.
January 19, 2012: Obama Uses Executive Order to Eliminate Statutory Interview Requirement for Certain Countries
Obama issued an executive order attempting to nullify a longstanding statutory requirement that those applying for a nonimmigrant visa submit to an in-person interview with a consular officer. The order waived these requirements for travelers from China and Brazil, increasing the potential for visa overstays and risking national security and law enforcement threats.
February 7, 2012: New ICE Public Advocate for Illegal Immigrants
ICE announced the creation of the ICE Public Advocate, who is to serve as a point of contact for aliens in removal proceedings, community and advocacy groups, and others who have concerns, questions, recommendations, or other issues they would like to raise about the Administration’s executive enforcement and amnesty efforts.
February 13, 2012: Obama Budget Slashes 287(g) Program
The President's FY2013 budget proposed a cut in funding for ICE and the 287(g) program, effectively gutting it.
April 25, 2012: ICE Voluntarily Dismisses Over 16,500 Deportation Cases
ICE announced that it would voluntarily close over 16,500 deportation cases pending background checks in connection with the Administration’s larger review of 300,000 cases. The administration also announced that the number of illegal immigrants whose deportation cases it has already dismissed is up to 2,700 from just over 1,500 the previous month.
April 25, 2012: DHS Announces Another Delay of Biometric Exit System
In March 2012, DHS Principal Deputy Coordinator of Counterterrorism John Cohen testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security that DHS’ plan to implement a biometric exit system would be completed in the next 30 days. However, on April 25, 2012, Secretary Napolitano testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that DHS would be able to deploy such a system “within four years” and then only if DHS determined that it was cost-effective. Dating back to 1996, Congress has mandated six times that this system be implemented and the 9/11 Commission recommended that DHS complete this system “as quickly as possible.”
April 27, 2012: Obama Administration Undermines Successful Secure Communities Program
ICE announced that it will no longer ask local jails to detain illegal aliens stopped for “minor traffic offenses,” weakening the effective Secure Communities program. Instead, ICE would only consider detaining an alien if the alien is ultimately convicted of an offense. Also, despite claims of limited resources, ICE announced it planned to take action against jurisdictions with arrest rates the agency deems too high.
June 5, 2012: ICE Deportation Dismissals Up To 20,000
ICE released its latest statistics in its case-by-case review of pending deportation cases. Of the 288,000 reviewed, 20,648 would be dismissed. ICE prosecutors in California also began reviewing more than 18,000 pending deportation cases.
June 12, 2012: Obama Administration Sues Florida for Effort to Remove Ineligible Voters
The Administration filed a lawsuit to prevent the State of Florida from removing ineligible voters, including illegal immigrants, from its voter registration rolls. On June 28, 2012, a federal court denied the Administration’s request, largely because Florida had abandoned its efforts, but also held that a State is not prohibited from removing the names of noncitizens from its voter rolls, even within the 90-day quiet period before a federal election.
June 15, 2012: Obama Bypasses Congress and Unilaterally Implements the DREAM Act
President Obama unilaterally implemented provisions of the DREAM Act, circumventing Congress under the guise of “prosecutorial discretion.” The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or “DACA” program gives amnesty by executive fiat and work authorizations to illegal aliens under the age of 30 who claimed they arrived in the country before the age of 16. ICE officers would later report that this amnesty was being applied to adult illegal aliens who have been arrested for criminal offenses. In an interview the same day, Secretary Napolitano admitted that DHS “internally set it up so that the parents are not referred for immigration enforcement if the young person comes in for deferred action,” thereby further expanding the scope of the non-enforcement directive.
June 25, 2012: Obama Administration Rescinds Arizona’s 287(g) Agreements in Retaliation for Supreme Court Upholding State Immigration Enforcement Law
Immediately following the Supreme Court’s decision upholding most of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law—which required law enforcement officers to take reasonable steps to verify the immigration status of those lawfully stopped or detained where there is reasonable suspicion to believe they are in the country illegally—the Administration rescinded all of its 287(g) agreements in Arizona.
July 6, 2012: Obama Administration Announces Closure of Nine Border Patrol Stations
The Obama Administration announced the closure of nine Border Patrol stations throughout the country—Lubbock, Amarillo, Dallas, San Antonio, Abilene, and San Angelo, Texas; Billings, Montana; Twin Falls, Idaho; and Riverside, California. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman claimed it was being done to more effectively use its personnel.
August 6, 2012: Administration Admits It Does Not Enforce Public Charge Law
The Ranking Members of the Senate Budget, Judiciary, Finance, and Agriculture Committees requested basic information from DHS and the State Department about visa denials after learning that only two of roughly 80 welfare programs were officially considered when evaluating whether an applicant for admission to the U.S. was likely to become a “public charge,” i.e., dependent on government assistance. Under Section 212 of the INA, an alien who is likely to become a public charge is inadmissible. On February 8, 2013, DHS finally responded that, in 2012, not a single immigrant was identified by the federal government as being a public charge, and that from FY2005 to FY2011, just 9,700 applicants for admission through the Visa Waiver Program out of more than 116 million were denied on public charge grounds. On March 1, 2013, the State Department finally responded with data showing that, in 2011, only 0.0033 percent of net applications for admission to the U.S. were denied on “public charge” grounds.
September 12, 2012: Administration Admits Aggressive Campaign To Recruit Immigrants To Sign Up for U.S. Welfare Program
In response to a request from the Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack admitted that USDA personnel conducted more than 30 meetings with the Mexican government to encourage noncitizen enrollment in food stamps and 14 other USDA-administered welfare programs. It is later revealed that a pamphlet distributed at Mexican consulates in the U.S. assures non-citizens that food stamp enrollment will not affect their path to citizenship, and that the USDA produced and broadcasted a soap opera-like “radio novela,” the premise of which included pressuring an individual to enroll in food stamps even though she insisted she did not need the benefits.
October 4, 2012: Obama Administration Ignores Los Angeles County’s Defiance of Federal Immigration Laws
The Administration failed to take any action after Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck announced that the LAPD would ignore requests by ICE to detain illegal immigrants arrested for “low-level” offenses.
December 21, 2012: Morton Administrative Amnesty Memo #4
The Friday before the Christmas holiday, ICE Director Morton issued a fourth memo with guidance on implementing administrative amnesty and stating that ICE agents could no longer detain illegal immigrants if the only violation of the law was being in the country illegally. ICE agents could now detain only those who have committed a crime independent of their illegal status, administratively suspending the core elements of the INA.
January 22, 2013: Obama Administration Files Brief in Support of Challenge to Arizona Law Requiring Proof of Citizenship to Vote
The Administration filed a brief in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., challenging Arizona’s law that requires individuals to provide evidence of United States citizenship when registering to vote in federal elections. On June 17, 2013, the Supreme Court held that although federal law preempted the Arizona law, Arizona could still request that the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) to include state-specific instructions on the federal form and a state may challenge a rejection of that request. Writing for the majority, Justice Scalia noted: “Arizona would have the opportunity to establish in a reviewing court that a mere oath will not suffice to effectuate its citizenship requirement and that the EAC is therefore under a non discretionary duty to include Arizona’s concrete-evidence requirement on the Federal form.”
February 14, 2013: Administration Announces It Approved Nearly 200,000 DACA Applications
USCIS released its latest DACA statistics showing that the Administration had, to that point, granted deferred action to 199,460 illegal immigrants under the program.
February 26, 2013: DHS Says It Has No Metrics for Determining Whether the Border Is Secure
The GAO released a report stating that DHS had no official metrics by which to determine whether the border is secure and had no plans to adopt any until late 2013. Since 2004, DHS had used “operational control” as a way to measure border security, and, in 2006, Congress mandated that DHS maintain operational control of the “entire international land and maritime borders of the United States.” After DHS reported in 2010 that it had operational control over only 13 percent of the 8,607 mile northern, southwestern and coastal border, and only 44 percent operational control of the southwestern border specifically, the Obama Administration abandoned the metric. On March 21, 2013, the New York Times reported that administration officials admitted that “they had resisted producing a single measure to assess the border because the president did not want any hurdles placed on the pathway to eventual citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.”
February 2013: Obama Administration Uses Sequester as Excuse To Release More Than 2,000 Illegal Immigrants from ICE Custody
After reports surfaced that ICE had been releasing illegal immigrants in ICE custody due to the sequester, ICE Director Morton testified before the House Judiciary Committee that ICE had, in fact, released 2,228 illegal immigrant detainees, at least 629 of whom had criminal records, contradicting earlier statements by DHS officials. Morton also admitted that ICE had rearrested and brought back four of the most dangerous released detainees. According to the Associated Press, more 2,000 had been released before the sequester even took effect and the Administration planned to release 3,000 more.
April 10, 2013: Border Patrol Chief Testified Before Congress that Apprehensions Have Increased
Chief of the Border Patrol Michael Fisher testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee that there had been an increase in “attempted entries,” in part due to Congress’ consideration of an amnesty.
April 23, 2013: Federal Court Holds DHS Does Not Have Discretion To Stop Deportations
In Crane v. Napolitano, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas held that “DHS does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings [where the law requires it to do so].” The court also affirmed that Congress, and not the President, has the plenary power to set immigration law and that the Administration’s prosecutorial discretion and DACA policies violate federal law. The lawsuit originated when several ICE agents sued Secretary Napolitano, Director Morton, and Director Mayorkas, arguing that the Administration’s amnesty policies caused them to violate their oath of office to enforce the law.
August 23, 2013: Obama Administration Adds Broad New Category of Illegal Immigrants Eligible for Backdoor Amnesty
ICE issued a new policy prohibiting its agents from detaining and/or deporting illegal immigrant parents, legal guardians, and “primary caretakers” of minor children. The policy memo states that ICE personnel “should ensure that the agency’s immigration enforcement activities do not unnecessarily disrupt the parental rights of both alien parents or legal guardians of minor children.” In response, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte stated that the new directive “poisons the debate surrounding immigration reform and shows that the Administration is not serious about fixing our broken immigration system.”
October 5, 2013: Obama Administration Ignores California’s Defiance of Federal Immigration Law
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law prohibiting state and local law enforcement from detaining illegal immigrants pursuant to an ICE detainer except in certain narrow circumstances. The bill was opposed by the California State Sheriffs Association and the California District Attorneys Association. To date, the Obama Administration has taken no action in response.
November 15, 2013: Obama Administration Announces More Administrative Amnesty
USCIS issued a new Policy Memorandum that employed a dubious interpretation of a policy— not based in statute or regulations—intended to allow aliens outside the U.S. to come into the country on a temporary and case-by-case basis under certain circumstances for humanitarian reasons at the discretion of the Attorney General. The Administration announced that it would now use this policy to grant a path to citizenship to illegal immigrant immediate relatives of active and veteran members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are already in the country. Again, no legislation was brought before Congress.
November 30, 2013: Administration Has Approved Over 500,000 DACA Applications
According to USCIS, as of November 30, 2013, USCIS has received a total of 627,763 requests for deferred action. Of the total, 509,926 have been approved and 14,614 have been denied.
December 13, 2013: Federal Court Rebukes DHS for Aiding Smugglers in Violating U.S. Laws
U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Texas, Andrew S. Hanen, issued an order stating: “This Court is quite concerned with the apparent policy of the Department of Homeland Security of completing the criminal mission of individuals who are violating the border security of the United States.” Judge Hanen detailed the practice of DHS immigration agents assisting human traffickers deliver illegal immigrants to their U.S. relatives.
March 13, 2014: Obama Announces Review of DHS Enforcement Practices
The President met with Congressional Hispanic Caucus Leadership to discuss “their mutual efforts to pass commonsense immigration reform legislation through the House of Representatives this year.” A readout of the meeting noted that the President announced to those in attendance that he has directed Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, to “do an inventory of the Department’s current practices to see how it can conduct enforcement more humanely within the confines of the law.” Immigration reform activists see the President’s announcement as an indication that he may weaken current deportation and enforcement policies.
March 31, 2014: DHS DOC Reveals Mass Release of Criminal Aliens
Internal DHS tracking metrics reveal the mass release of criminal aliens in 2013. In some jurisdictions, such as Washington D.C., more than half of encounters with criminal aliens resulted in releases.
March 5, 2014: Administration unilaterally acts to provide work permits to spouses of H-1B guest workers, increasing the supply of guest workers by almost 100,000 plus an additional 30,000 each following year.
Regarding the decision, Judiciary Ranking Member Grassley said in part: “...the Obama administration clearly doesn’t seem concerned with the millions of unemployed Americans, and those who have been forced out of their jobs because companies prefer to hire lower-paid workers from abroad... In addition to their lack of compassion and understanding for American workers, it’s disturbing that the administration is once again circumventing Congress and implementing their own rules... The [Senate’s Gang of Eight] bill, if passed, would allow spouses of H-1B holders to work. Inclusion of this provision signals that the Secretary does not currently have authority [to do so]…”
May 12, 2014: DHS DOC Reveals Thousands Of Criminal Offenders Were Freed in 2013
A DHS document obtained by the Center for Immigration Studies revealed that ICE freed 36,007 criminal aliens from ICE detention in 2013. CIS writes: “This group included aliens convicted of hundreds of violent and serious crimes, including homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, and aggravated assault. The list of crimes also includes more than 16,000 drunk or drugged driving convictions. The vast majority of these releases from ICE custody were discretionary, not required by law (in fact, in some instances, apparently contrary to law), nor the result of local sanctuary policies.”
Obama Takes Executive Action on Immigration
On November 20, 2014, President Obama delivered a televised address to the nation announcing the elements of his executive order on immigration, an executive order that usurped, for the Executive branch of government, the legislative authority and role of Congress. In a measure that was expected to affect some 5 million immigrants, the president said that the U.S. would not seek to deport any illegal immigrants who had "[have] been in America more than five years"; who "have children who are American citizens or legal residents"; who could "pass a criminal background check and [be] willing to pay your fair share of taxes." His remarks included the following:
For more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations.... But today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it. Families who enter our country the right way and play by the rules watch others flout the rules. Business owners who offer their workers good wages and benefits see the competition exploit undocumented immigrants by paying them far less. All of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities of living in America. And undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows, or risk their families being torn apart.
It's been this way for decades. And for decades, we haven't done much about it. When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system. And I began by doing what I could to secure our borders. Today, we have more agents and technology deployed to secure our southern border than at any time in our history.... Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Those are the facts.
Meanwhile, I worked with Congress on a comprehensive fix, and last year, 68 Democrats, Republicans, and Independents came together to pass a bipartisan bill in the Senate. It wasn't perfect. It was a compromise, but it reflected common sense. It would have doubled the number of border patrol agents, while giving undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship if they paid a fine, started paying their taxes, and went to the back of the line. And independent experts said that it would help grow our economy and shrink our deficits.
Had the House of Representatives allowed that kind of a bill a simple yes-or-no vote, it would have passed with support from both parties, and today it would be the law. But for a year and a half now, Republican leaders in the House have refused to allow that simple vote.
Now, I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common sense law. But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as President -- the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican Presidents before me -- that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just. Tonight, I am announcing those actions.
First, we'll build on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel so that they can stem the flow of illegal crossings, and speed the return of those who do cross over. Second, I will make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed. Third, we'll take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country.
I want to say more about this third issue, because it generates the most passion and controversy. Even as we are a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws. Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable -- especially those who may be dangerous. That's why, over the past six years, deportations of criminals are up 80 percent. And that's why we're going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security. Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mother who's working hard to provide for her kids. We'll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.
But even as we focus on deporting criminals, the fact is, millions of immigrants -- in every state, of every race and nationality -- will still live here illegally. And let's be honest -- tracking down, rounding up, and deporting millions of people isn't realistic. Anyone who suggests otherwise isn't being straight with you. It's also not who we are as Americans. After all, most of these immigrants have been here a long time. They work hard, often in tough, low-paying jobs. They support their families. They worship at our churches. Many of their kids are American-born or spent most of their lives here, and their hopes, dreams, and patriotism are just like ours....
Now here's the thing: we expect people who live in this country to play by the rules. We expect that those who cut the line will not be unfairly rewarded. So we're going to offer the following deal: If you've been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you're willing to pay your fair share of taxes -- you'll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law.
That's what this deal is. Now let's be clear about what it isn't. This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently. It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive -- only Congress can do that. All we're saying is we're not going to deport you.
I know some of the critics of this action call it amnesty. Well, it's not. Amnesty is the immigration system we have today -- millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules, while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time. That's the real amnesty -- leaving this broken system the way it is. Mass amnesty would be unfair. Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I'm describing is accountability -- a commonsense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you're a criminal, you'll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.
The actions I'm taking are not only lawful, they're the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican President and every single Democratic President for the past half century. And to those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.... Congress certainly shouldn't shut down our government again just because we disagree on this. Americans are tired of gridlock....
Most Americans support the types of reforms I've talked about tonight. But I understand the disagreements held by many of you at home. Millions of us, myself included, go back generations in this country, with ancestors who put in the painstaking work to become citizens. So we don't like the notion that anyone might get a free pass to American citizenship. I know that some worry immigration will change the very fabric of who we are, or take our jobs, or stick it to middle-class families at a time when they already feel like they've gotten the raw end of the deal for over a decade. I hear these concerns. But that's not what these steps would do. Our history and the facts show that immigrants are a net plus for our economy and our society. And I believe it's important that all of us have this debate without impugning each other's character.
Because for all the back-and-forth of Washington, we have to remember that this debate is about something bigger. It's about who we are as a country, and who we want to be for future generations.
Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law? Or are we a nation that gives them a chance to make amends, take responsibility, and give their kids a better future?
Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents' arms? Or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together?...
Over the past few years, I have seen the determination of immigrant fathers who worked two or three jobs, without taking a dime from the government, and at risk at any moment of losing it all, just to build a better life for their kids. I've seen the heartbreak and anxiety of children whose mothers might be taken away from them just because they didn't have the right papers. I've seen the courage of students who, except for the circumstances of their birth, are as American as Malia or Sasha; students who bravely come out as undocumented in hopes they could make a difference in a country they love. These people -- our neighbors, our classmates, our friends -- they did not come here in search of a free ride or an easy life. They came to work, and study, and serve in our military, and above all, contribute to America's success....
Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger -- we were strangers once, too. My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal -- that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.
That's the country our parents and grandparents and generations before them built for us. That's the tradition we must uphold. That's the legacy we must leave for those who are yet to come.
The Lies in Obama's Immigration Speech
On November 21, 2014, Daniel Horowitz analyzed Obama's speech and exposed its 10 most egregious lies:
Lie #1: Every President has Taken Executive Action on Immigration: No other president has ever issued an amnesty of anywhere near this scope, created it out of thin air, or built it upon a prior executive action instead of a statute. And in the case of President Eisenhower, his executive action was to deport 80,000 illegal immigrants.
Lie #2: Illegal Immigrant Crossings are Down: Actually, this is the third straight year that border crossings have gone up, not to mention the entirely new wave from Central America.
Lie #3: It does not grant citizenship or the right to stay here permanently: Under the royal edict, the work permits can be renewed every three years, and most likely, they will be renewed at the same 99.5% acceptance rate as DACA applications. And once they get Social Security cards, they are going nowhere. So yes, this is permanent. And yes, they will be able to get green cards, which puts them on an automatic path to citizenship: “we are reducing the time that families are separated while obtaining their green cards. Undocumented immigrants who are immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents or sons or daughters of US citizens can apply to get a waiver if a visa is available.”
Lie #4: Only 5 Million: Make no mistake about it. Obama’s illegal amnesty will not just apply to 5 million individuals. It will apply by default to all 12-20 million illegals in the country as well as the millions more who will now come here to enjoy the permanent cessation of borders and sovereignty. Given the numerous options for people to become eligible for amnesty, ICE and CPB will be restricted from enforcing the law against anyone because each individual has to be afforded the opportunity to present themselves and apply for status. There is no way those who were here for less than 5 years will be deported and there’s no way the new people rushing the border and overstaying their visas will be repatriated.
Lie #5: Deport Felons: Obama claims he is going to focus on deporting felons. Yet, he has done the opposite. 36,000 convicted criminal aliens were released last year, 80,000 criminal aliens encountered by ICE weren’t even placed into deportation proceedings, 167,000 criminal aliens who were ordered deported are still at large, 341,000 criminal aliens released by ICE without deportation orders are known to be free and at large in the US. Again, this is cessation of deportations for everyone. They are leaving no illegal behind.
Lie #6: Don’t deport families: Obama is playing the family card. It works like this: people are encouraged to come here illegally, Obama grants them amnesty, then their relatives all get to come, even though they would otherwise be ineligible under public charge laws. Yet, at the same time, because the bureaucracy will be flooded with applications of illegals, and those are the applications that will be prioritized, those families who came here legally will have to wait longer to be united. There is no longer an incentive to enter the legal immigration process.
Lie #7: They have to pay taxes to stay: Aside from the absurd notion that they would turn someone away for not paying taxes, almost every one of these illegal immigrants lacks a high enough income to incur a net positive tax liability. Hence, by paying taxes, he actually means they will collect refundable tax credits!
Lie #8: Background Checks: Just the thought of a criminal background check of people coming from the third world on a lawless program is a joke. But the reality is that Obama has already done this with DACA, and 99.5% of applications were approved, including those of criminals.
Lie #9: Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration at the Border: Obama promises to beef up resources at the border. But as we’ve seen over the past few years, what good are more agents if they are explicitly intimidated into turning a blind eye. Moreover, there is no promise to build a fence or implement a visa tracking system, so any talk of enforcement is an insult to our intelligence. Moreover, he is unilaterally abolishing the Secure Communities program, the only successful interior enforcement program left after he abolished 287g state-federal cooperation in 2012. At a time when we are facing threats from Islamic terror and deadly diseases, this invitation to the world will present a security nightmare.
Lie #10: Scripture tells us, we shall not oppress a stranger: It’s great to see him quoting the Bible for once, but nice try. There are different variations of this verse throughout the Bible, but each one uses the Hebrew word “Ger” to describe what Obama translates as “stranger.” A Ger is a convert to Judaism. The commandment was not referring to people who illegally migrate to a nation state. And more importantly, it is downright offensive to Americans to insinuate that not granting them benefits is tantamount to oppression, especially given the fact that they have been the biggest recipients of our generous legal system. Moreover, if there is oppression taking place it is to the American taxpayer and worker and those who suffer from gangs like MS-13.
Manhattan Institute senior fellow Avik Roy debunked, in particular, Obama's assertion that the illegals affected by Obama's executive order would pay whatever back taxes they owed. Wrote Roy:
President Obama says that his executive order will ensure that currently illegal immigrants will have to “pay their fair share of taxes.” But the vast majority of undocumented aliens don’t make enough in income to have a net income-tax liability. As I note in Forbes, a 2006 analysis by the Century Foundation, a progressive think tank, concludes that “we can be virtually certain that illegal immigrants earned less than $24,000 per year, on average, probably much less.” That amounts to around $29,000 in 2014 dollars, well below the threshold where an American has a net income-tax liability.
Legalizing this population is unlikely to result in significantly higher payroll-tax revenue, because many illegals have fake Social Security numbers that their employers use to pay payroll taxes on their behalf. Century estimates that “about $6 billion in annual payroll taxes are allocated to non-existent Social Security accounts.... This sum is certainly more than any income taxes that would be owed on the earnings involved.”
Century concludes that “it is likely that the undocumented workers will end up receiving rather than paying the Treasury money.”
When Obama announced his executive action, he insisted that: “It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive—only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.” But Frontpage Magazine journalist Arnold Ahlert pointed out that the president's claim was untrue:
"The status conferred by the president activates the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which states that the government 'will pay monthly title II and title XVIII benefits to a claimant/beneficiary who is present in the U.S. and who is a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawfully present alien as determined by the Attorney General.' It further states that payment provisions 'apply to retirement, survivors or disability benefits. This rule also applies to payments made for Medicare services rendered.'
"Illegals would be required to pay a Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax, which includes separate payments made to Medicare and Social Security. Once they do that, benefits await. 'If they pay in, they can draw,' White House spokesman Shawn Turner [said]."
How Much Obama's Immigration Executive Order Will Cost American Taxpayers
According to Heritage Foundation budget analyst Robert Rector, President Obama’s executive order legalizing several million immigrants would cost American taxpayers approximately $2 trillion, or roughly $40 billion a year, over the course of the ensuing five decades. As the Daily Caller reported: "The $2 trillion cost is driven by the federal government’s support for all poor people, says Robert Rector ... [who] explained that, on average, the illegal immigrants benefiting from the amnesty have a 10th grade education. That low education ensures they can’t earn enough money, or pay enough taxes, to pay for the many benefits they’ll get if they progress from temporary residents to legal residents and then to citizens, Rector said. These various benefits add up to roughly $50,000 a year for each household, but those households can and do pay only about $13,000 a year in federal taxes, leaving a gap of roughly $40,000 between payments and benefits, Rector said."
Illegals Affected by Obama's Executive Action Will Be Eligible for Federal Benefits
On January 16, 2015, Breitbart.com reported that according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), by 2017 approximately 2 million of the illegal immigrants affected by Obama's executive action would become eligible for certain federal benefits due to their new status and work authorizations. Said the CBO report: “Those who are approved for deferred action are considered lawfully present in the country but do not gain legal status. They can, and most do, receive authorization to work. Because they are lawfully present during the period of their deferred status, they are eligible to receive Medicare and Social Security benefits if they meet the programs’ requirements.... In addition, those individuals who are approved for deferred action and receive work authorization have Social Security numbers and therefore can claim the earned income tax credit if they qualify.”
Obama Unwittingly Admits That His Executive Order Violates the Constitution
During a November 25, 2014 address in Chicago, Obama, who had theretofore argued that his recently issued executive amnesty order was well within the bounds of existing law, was heckled for several minutes by immigration protesters who claimed that he was permitting too many illegals to be deported. Eventually Obama said to the heclers: "Now, you're absolutely right that there have been significant numbers of deportations. That's true. But what you are not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law.... It doesn't make much sense to yell at me right now, when we're making changes."
As The Weekly Standard pointed out in its report on this incident: "The United States Constitution says the legislative power is held by Congress, not by the president."
DHS Issues New Immigration Guidelines
In response to President Obama's executive order on immigration and deportations, the Department of Homeland Security on November 21, 2014 issued a new set of "Policies for the Apprehension, Detention, and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants" to serve as guidelines for all immigration and border-security officers tasked with administering Obama's directive. The Washington Examiner reported:
The new priorities are striking. On the tough side, the president wants U.S. immigration authorities to go after terrorists, felons, and new illegal border crossers. On the not-so-tough side, the administration views convicted drunk drivers, sex abusers, drug dealers, and gun offenders as second-level enforcement priorities. An illegal immigrant could spend up to a year in prison for a violent crime and still not be a top removal priority for the Obama administration.
In the memo, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson says his department must develop "smart enforcement priorities" to exercise "prosecutorial discretion" in order to best use his agency's limited resources. Johnson establishes three enforcement priority levels to guide DHS officers as they decide whether to stop, hold, or prosecute an illegal immigrant.
Priority one is the "highest priority to which enforcement resources should be directed," the memo says. The category includes "aliens engaged in or suspected of terrorism or espionage, or who otherwise pose a danger to national security." It also includes "aliens apprehended at the border or ports of entry while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States." In addition, any illegal immigrant convicted of an offense involving a criminal street gang, or convicted of a felony -- provided that immigration status was not an "essential element" of the charge -- is targeted. Finally, any illegal immigrant convicted of an aggravated felony is included in Priority One.
The guidelines say Priority One aliens "must be prioritized" for deportation unless they qualify for asylum or unless there are "compelling and exceptional" factors that indicate the alien is not a threat.
Priority two offenders, whose cases are less urgent then criminals in priority one, include the following: aliens convicted of a "significant misdemeanor," which for these purposes is an offense of domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or driving under the influence; or if not an offense listed above, one for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of 90 days or more.... Priority two also includes "aliens convicted of three or more misdemeanor offenses, other than minor traffic offenses or state or local offenses for which an essential element was the alien's immigration status." But there's an important footnote to that. The three offenses must arise out of three separate incidents. If an illegal immigrant committed a single act that resulted in multiple misdemeanor charges, it would count as one charge for DHS counting purposes.
The guidelines say priority two aliens "should" be removed — not "must," as with priority one — unless they qualify for asylum or there are "factors" indicating the alien is not a threat. It's a significantly lower standard than priority one.
Finally, priority three includes those who have simply violated the nation's immigration laws seriously enough to have been issued a final order of removal. The DHS memo describes them as the "lowest priority for apprehension and removal." They can be allowed to stay not only if they qualify for asylum but also if, "in the judgment of an immigration officer, the alien is not a threat to the integrity of the immigration system or there are factors suggesting the alien should not be an enforcement priority." In practice, that could prove a remarkably lenient standard....
In addition, an illegal immigrant can run up a significant number of misdemeanor convictions — not arrests, not charges, but convictions — and still fall short qualifying for deportation. The president's new policies will likely make a number of illegal immigrants who are also criminals very happy.
Obama Never Actually Signed the Immigration Executive Order
In early December 2014, Jerome Corsi reported that the two executive orders Obama had signed in Las Vegas on November 21 were: (a) a presidential proclamation creating a White House Task Force on New Americans, and (b) a presidential memorandum "instructing the secretaries of State and [Department of] Homeland Security to consult with various governmental and non-governmental entities to reduce costs and improve service in issuing immigrant and non-immigrant visas." But Obama had never actually signed an executive order directing DHS to forgive 5 million illegal aliens for their past violations of immigration law. As National Archives Administration librarian Jeffrey Hartley put it: “[I]t would appear that there is not an Executive Order stemming from the President’s remarks on November 20 on immigration.”
Radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh explained Obama's motivation for not signing that order: “Do you know that Obama has not signed any executive action or order for this? Folks, this is even more corrupt than anybody conceived! He just wrote a memo instructing Homeland Security not to deport 5 million people. There is no actual executive order. The reason for this is abundantly clear. If anybody wants to prosecute this, what do you prosecute? There’s no executive order. There’s no person to go focus on.”
Limbaugh's analysis spoke to the fact that the attorneys general in 17 states had recently filed a lawsuit charging that Obama’s immigration action violated the U.S. Constitution.
Judge Rules That Obama's Executive Action on Immigration Is Unconstitutional
On December 16, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Schwab (in Pennsylvania) -- writing in response to a criminal case against a Honduran illegal immigrant who had returned to the U.S. after previously having been deported -- stated that parts of President Obama's recent executive action on immigration were unconstitutional. "President Obama's unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional," the judge wrote. Schwab added that the action went beyond the bounds of so-called "prosecutorial discretion" -- which the administration had cited to justify its decision to suspend deportations. The judge also cited Obama's argument that executive action was necessary because of Congress's failure to pass comprehensive immigration legislation, and countered: "Congressional inaction does not endow legislative power with the Executive."
Under Obama's Executive Amnesty, Illegal Aliens in Prison Are Released and Made Eligible for Work Permits
In January 2015, a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies indicated that under President Obama’s executive amnesty, certain illegal aliens were being released from detention facilities and made eligible for work permits. Said the report: “Starting almost immediately after the president’s announcement in November, ICE offices around the country were directed to go through their caseload of illegal aliens in the process of being deported and start releasing all those who by the stroke of the president’s pen were no longer priorities for enforcement. And, under current policy, many of these illegal aliens – many of whom have criminal records and/or prior deportations — are getting work permits too.”
Between Obama's November 2014 announcement of his executive amnesty and the end of that year, ICE released more than 600 detained immigrants from custody. That number included detainees who appeared to qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Permanent Residents (DAPA), as well those individuals whose case histories no longer fall within the range of DHS’s (new) enforcement priorities.
The CIS report added: “These aren’t even necessarily people with family, kids, ties or equities in the United States. This directive/policy toward ‘non-priorities’ applies to anyone simply in the United States as of January 1, 2014 with no significant criminal convictions. Yet even if they were ordered deported by a court and are actually IN custody, awaiting removal, per this order, we now cannot execute that order or detain them, as a ‘non-priority.’ And yes, many will qualify in some way for work permits and leave to remain in the United States.”
The report gave additional details about the types of people who were being released:
- Illegal aliens with pending criminal cases;
- Illegal aliens criminal charges that were dismissed or dropped (sometimes local prosecutors drop charges because they believe the alien will be deported);
- Illegal aliens with significant traffic violations, usually drunk driving, but also vehicle theft and hit & run ;
- Illegal aliens who have been deported once or many times before, but who have minor or no criminal convictions, and who are often filing last-ditch asylum claims;
- Illegal aliens without criminal convictions who are contesting deportation in protracted court cases (at taxpayer expense), which will now be dropped;
- Illegal aliens already ordered deported who are awaiting travel documents, which in some cases are deliberately delayed by their home countries.
Obama's Executive Action on Deportation Makes It Easier for Illegal Immigrants to Vote
On February 12, 2015, state elections officials testifying before Congress said that President Obama’s executive action on deportation—by which illegal immigrants would be granted driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers—would make it easier for them to improperly register and vote in elections. While noting that it would still be illegal for noncitizens to vote, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said they did not have the tools to locate and identify illegals who might register anyway. As Husted explained, mass registration drives often overwhelm the capacity of authorities—whose offices have limited manpower—to verify the citizenship status of all registrants and voters. And Kobach, reported the Washington Times, “said even some motor vehicle bureau workers automatically ask customers if they want to register to vote, which some noncitizens in the past have cited as their reason for breaking the law to register.” “It’s a guarantee it will happen,” Kobach stated.
Obama Says Only "Some Native Americans" Have a Right to Object to Open Borders; Implies That the United States Was Formed Illegitimately
In a November 24, 2014 speech in Chicago, President Obama said: “There have been periods where the folks who were already here suddenly say, ‘Well, I don’t want those folks,’ even though the only people who have the right to say that are some Native Americans.... Sometimes we get attached to our particular tribe, our particular race, our particular religion, and then we start treating other folks differently.... That, sometimes, has been a bottleneck to how we think about immigration.... Whether we cross the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we all shared one thing, and that’s the hope that America would be the place where we could believe as we choose ... and that the law would be enforced equally for everybody, regardless of what you look like or what your last name was.”
Obama Likens Jesus, Mary and Joesph to Illegal Immigrants
At an immigration town hall in Nashville in December 2014, President Obama said: “If we’re serious about the Christmas season, now is the time to reflect on those who are strangers in our midst and remember what it was like to be a stranger.” He described Jesus's parents, Mary and Joseph, as a “soon to be mother” and “a husband of modest means” who were seeking a place to stay but were heartbroken to find that there was no room at the inn. "As I said the day that I announced these executive actions [on immigration] that we were once strangers too," added Obama, "and part of what my faith teaches me is to look upon the stranger as part of myself. And during this Christmas season that’s a good place to start.... I think the good book says, you know, ‘Don’t throw stones in glass houses…’"
As one blog noted in response: "Once again the supposedly deeply devout Obama betrays his abject ignorance Christianity and in this case, the Christmas story. Mary and Joseph were not homeless. They were not illegal aliens. They were only in Bethlehem because they had to go there to play their taxes. (Which is something illegal aliens are not bothered with.) They were not strangers in a strange land, either. Joseph was born in Bethlehem. Which is why he had to go back there to pay his taxes. It was the law. (It’s about 79 miles from Bethlehem to Nazareth.) [The 'don't throw stones' reference] isn’t from the Bible, either. It’s an English proverb mentioned by Chaucer. (Circa 1385.)"
Obama Administration Has Issued 5.5 Million Work Permits to Non-Citizens Without Congressional Approval
In February 2015, the Washington Times reported that from 2009 through 2014, the Obama administration had issued, via administrative action – i.e., without Congressional authorization – roughly 5.5 million work permits to non-citizens. That number included some 957,200 people who had entered the U.S. without being inspected, 23,215 parolees, almost 1,000 stowaways, and 49 people suspected of document fraud. These 5.5 million work permits were an addition to the 5 million green cards and 3.5 million guest worker permits which Congress authorized during the same 2009-14 period.
Illegals Will Be Eligible for Back Tax Credits
On February 14, 2015, My Way News reported: "Armed with new Social Security numbers, many of these immigrants [benefiting from President Obama's executive actions] who were living in the U.S. illegally will now be able to claim up to four years' worth of tax credits designed to benefit the working poor. For big families, that's a maximum of nearly $24,000, as long as they can document their earnings during those years."
Executive Amnesty Contains Hidden Path to Citizenship
On February 13, 2015, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) penned a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson stating that President Obama’s recent executive orders on immigration included provisions that “place potentially hundreds of thousands of unlawful immigrants on a path to citizenship.” “Your Department’s recent changes to this deferred action program seem to be a sneaky attempt to place potentially hundreds of thousands of unlawful immigrants on a path to citizenship,” wrote Goodlatte.
At issue was the fact that is that DHS allowed the illegal immigrants who enrolled in Obama's deferred action (DACA) program to apply for advanced parole status. Said Goodlatte: “As you know, when an individual receives advance parole, upon return to the United States the individual can then be eligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. And as you know, lawful permanent resident status is the precursor to U.S. citizenship. A simple search of the Internet reveals that immigration reform advocacy groups and immigration benefits law practices are fully aware of the path to citizenship that is afforded to DACA recipients through advance parole.”
Goodlatte wrote his letter after U.S. Customs and Immigration Services staffers had told his office that 88 percent of illegal immigrants who had applied for advance parole through the deferred action program in the previous two years had had their requests approved.
Federal Judge Blocks Obama's Executive Action on Deportation
On February 16, 2015, Texas Federal Judge Andrew S. Hanen, ruling on a lawsuit filed by 26 states seeking to block President Obama’s November 2014 executive action on deportation, issued a 123-page judgment that did in fact block it. Known as Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), Obama's action authorized the dissemination of work permits, tax rebates, Social Security cards, and a quick route to citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants -- a process that had been scheduled to start on February 18, 2015. In his decision, Hanen wrote:
- "The court finds that the government’s failure to secure the border has exacerbated illegal immigration into this country. … The record supports the finding that this lack of enforcement, combined with the country’s high rate of illegal immigration, significantly drains the states’ resources.... The court agrees … any subsequent ruling that finds DAPA unlawful after it is implemented would result in the states facing the substantially difficult — if not impossible — task of retracting benefits or licenses already provided [to beneficiaries].”
- “The DHS was not given any ‘discretion by law’ to give 4.3 million removable aliens what the DHS itself labels as ‘legal presence.’ In fact, the law mandates that these illegally-present individuals be removed. The DHS has adopted a new rule that substantially changes both the status and employability of millions. These changes go beyond mere enforcement or even non-enforcement of this nation’s immigration scheme.”
- “The court agrees that, without a preliminary injunction, any subsequent ruling that finds DAPA unlawful after it is implemented would result in the States facing the substantially difficult–if not impossible–task of retracting any benefits licenses already provided to DAPA beneficiaries. This genie would be impossible to put back in the bottle.”
A Washington Times report said of Hanen's ruling: “Where Mr. Obama claimed he was only issuing 'guidance' and using his powers of prosecutorial discretion to make decisions on a case-by-case basis, the judge ruled that wording was 'disingenuous' and ignored the substance of what the president was trying to do. He also said Mr. Obama hurt his own case by saying he’d acted to 'change the law,' implying a much more substantive legal program than his administration was arguing in court.”
The Obama Administration Lies to a Federal Judge
At a January 2015 hearing that was held weeks before Hanen issued his February 16th injunction blocking Obama's actions, Justice Department attorney Kathleen Hartnett told Hanen that nothing was scheduled to happen with regard to DAPA until February 18th. But this was a lie. The Obama administration had already granted three-year reprieves (and work permits) to 108,081 illegal immigrants under 2012 guidelines, long before the January hearing. "Like an idiot I believed that," Hanen said on March 20th regarding Hartnett's lie. The judge suggested that he might order sanctions against the administration if he found that it indeed had misrepresented the facts.
Obama Administration Plans to Quadruple Influx of Refugees from Syria
On February 17, 2015, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced that in light of the unrest and terrorism plaguing the nation of Syria, the U.S. would increase the number of Syrian refugees permitted to come to America in 2015 and 2016: "The United States has admitted 524 Syrians since 2011. We’re likely to admit 1,000 to 2,000 Syrian refugees for permanent resettlement in Fiscal Year 2015 and a somewhat higher number, though still in the low thousands, in Fiscal Year 2016."
But at a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee several days earlier, Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said it would be a "huge mistake" to bring refugees from Syria and Turkey into the United States where they "could potentially be radicalized."
According to a WorldNetDaily report:
"A senior FBI official has admitted the United States is finding it virtually impossible to screen out terrorists that could be hiding among the thousands of Syrian 'refugees' heading soon to American cities. The U.S. simply does not have the resources to stop Islamic radicals in Syria from slipping into the country through the State Department’s refugee-resettlement program, said Michael Steinbach, deputy assistant director of the FBI’s counter terrorism unit. Separating legitimate refugees from terrorists was difficult enough in Iraq, where the U.S. had a large occupation force. Even then, the U.S. government’s vetting process missed “dozens” of Iraqi jihadists who slipped into the country posing as refugees and took up residence in Kentucky, according to a November 2013 ABC News report."
Obama Warns of "Consequences" for ICE Officials Who Fail to Abide by His Executive Amnesty
During a town hall event on immigration that was broadcast on MSNBC, President Obama warned workers at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that if they failed to implement his executive amnesty -- rather than existing immigration laws that were on the books -- they would be punished. Below is the exchange Obama had with moderator José Diaz-Balert:
MR. DIAZ-BALART: But what are the consequences? Because how do you ensure that ICE agents or Border Patrol won’t be deporting people like this? I mean, what are the consequences?
THE PRESIDENT: José, look, the bottom line is, is that if somebody is working for ICE and there is a policy and they don’t follow the policy, there are going to be consequences to it. So I can’t speak to a specific problem. What I can talk about is what’s true in the government, generally. In the U.S. military, when you get an order, you’re expected to follow it. It doesn’t mean that everybody follows the order. If they don’t, they’ve got a problem. And the same is going to be true with respect to the policies that we’re putting forward.
Obama's Plan to Turn Immigrants into a "Country Within a Country," and to Discourage Assimilation
In early 2015, Sue Payne, a contributor to WCBM Radio, was invited to listen in to three Obama administration conference calls about immigration, where the participants included representatives from each of the White House's 16 cabinet departments. Below is Ms. Payne's verbatim account of what she heard in those conference calls -- as she told it to radio broadcaster Mark Levin on February 26, 2015. (To hear the audio of this interview, click here, then click on "2/26/15," and begin listening at approximately the 91:00 mark.)
“[W]hat took place on the call was there was the Task Force on New Americans, which Obama established on November 21st, remember, when he went to Las Vegas. The media said he was signing an executive order for 5 million illegal aliens to become deferred. In reality, what he did was sign a memorandum that created the Task Force on New Americans, which was going to implement his amnesty mill for the 5 million illegals, which I believe is going to be more than that. I think he was planning, and on these conference calls it became clear, that he's looking at 13 to 15 million to get protection and move them on to citizenship.
“What happened in the conference calls was there was a representative from 16 – each of the members of his Cabinet. So there were 16 representatives there. And Cecilia Munoz [former policy director for the National Council of La Raza, and former Obama appointee as director of the U.S. Domestic Policy Council] was on the first call.... And she's chairing this Task Force. And so what became clear is that once these illegals come out of the shadows, so to speak, their communities that they're living in now are going to be redesignated as “Receiving Communities.” And what this Task Force is designed to do, is to create a welcoming feeling among these Receiving Communities, to bring in these immigrants, bring them out in the open.
“But the Receiving Communities will then soon morph into what was established [as] an Emerging Immigrant Community. And to do that, what they said was we need to start looking at the immigrant as a seedling. And for the seedling to grow, the seedling needs to be in fertile soil.... [E]ventually the seedlings will take over the host. And the immigrants will come out of the shadows, and what I got from the meetings was they would be pushing the citizens into the shadows. They would be taking over the country. In fact one of the members of the Task Force actually said that we would be developing a country within a country.
“There was a couple of buzzwords that were really disturbing to hear. That was one of them. One was from a White House spokesman [who] said that immigrants need to be aware of the benefits they are entitled to. Which led to another comment saying that this group that Obama's going to pardon or give amnesty to, would not be interested in assimilating They would navigate, not assimilate.… [I]t became very clear the Receiving Communities would be morphing into the Emergent Immigrant Communities.
“There was also a couple of other things that were very disturbing. One was that as soon as this decision is pushed through, these immigrants need to be treated as refugees. They need to be given cash. They need medical care. They need to use credit cards to pay for any documents that they need. And also, we need to convince state and local governments to cut these people no-interest loans with taxpayer dollars, so they can then pay for their papers. As if we were funding our own destruction here.…
“Also, they said there was going to be a great deal of older immigrants in this batch, and that we needed to make sure that the receiving communities knew that the older or elderly unskilled can contribute to these receiving communities, and that the government should understand that immigrants need to age successfully. Immigrants and successful aging. And we need to get them into Social Security as soon as possible, so that they can age successfully within their “country within a country.”
Obama Issues Another Executive Order on Immigration
In late March 2015, Pesident Obama issued another executive order on immigration, this time broadening the definition of “specialized knowledge” for L-1B intracompany transfer visas to potentially cover just about any foreign worker and erasing the requirement for employers to demonstrate a lack of Americans who could perform the job.
The Department of Homeland Security explained that the L-1B classification “enables a U.S. employer to transfer a professional employee with specialized knowledge relating to the organization’s interests from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States.” If a company does not have an affiliated office in the U.S., the classification also allows them to send a “specialized knowledge employee” to the U.S. to set one up.
As journalist Byron York explained, the term “specialized knowledge”—which is supposed to mean a knowledge or skill difficult to find in America—had always been nebulous, but President Obama has now rendered it essentially meaningless, making it applicable to just about any transferee a company might choose to send to America:
Companies transferring foreign workers to the U.S. have to make the case to an “adjudicator” from the United States Customs and Immigration Services. It’s not a terribly tough job; the definition of “specialized knowledge” was already pretty loose. In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general investigated L-1Bs and found that “the program allows for the transfer of workers with ‘specialized knowledge,’ but the term is so broadly defined that adjudicators believe they have little choice but to approve almost all petitions.” Standards were tightened somewhat after the study, but now Obama wants to loosen them again.
York pointed out that Obama’s new rules also dropped the requirement for employers to demonstrate the “lack of readily available workers to perform the relevant duties in the United States,” thus erasing the other crucial aspect of the original policy and kicking open the door for future foreign workers.
Government Will Fly Illegal Immigrants into America, at Taxpayer Expense
In April 2015, the Daily Caller reported that a new Department of State and Department of Homeland Security program would allow U.S.-based adult illegal immigrants who have children younger than 21 in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, to apply to have those children flown to the United States, at American taxpayer expense, so that they may be reunited with their parents. As the Daily Caller explained: "The parents are eligible as long as they have some sort of legal status.... [T]his would include permanent residents and even illegal immigrants given a work permit and deportation reprieve under President Obama’s recent executive actions, though much of that is on hold due to a pending court case. Of them, those with children under 21 and living in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras reportedly could apply."
In a November 2014 memo, the State Department explained that this method of family reunification would be "a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are currently undertaking to the United States."
Tom Fitton, president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, said: "I think many Americans are going to be surprised to learn that illegal aliens here in the United States are getting the Obama administration to go and get their children and fetch them. And all at our expense.... Under this program, they would be quote 'refugees,' and refugees have access to government benefits that other illegal aliens don't." According to Judicial Watch, such benefits include "free education, food stamps, medical care, and living expenses."
Massive Effort to Turn Immigrants into New Democrat Voters
In April 2015, former DOJ official J. Christian Adams reported that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Task Force on New Americans (TFNA), was “reallocating significant resources away from a computer system — the 'Electronic Immigration System' — to sending letters to all 9,000,000 green card holders urging them to naturalize prior to the 2016 election.” DFNA director and co-chair Leon Rodriguez, who contributed heavily to the radicalization of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division under Eric Holder, had recently penned a letter that referenced a White House report called “Strengthening Communities by Welcoming All Residents.” Said Rodriguez's letter: “This report outlines an immigrant integration plan that will advance our nation’s global competitiveness and ensure that the people who live in this country can fully participate in their communities.”
According to Adams: “'Full participation' is a term commonly used to include voting rights. To that end, resources within DHS have been redirected toward pushing as many as aliens and non-citizens as possible to full citizenship status so they may 'fully participate' in the 2016 presidential election. For example, the internal DHS letter states one aim is to 'strengthen existing pathways to naturalization and promote civic engagement.'”
Given that immigrants from minority communities tend to vote overwhelmingly for Democrat candidates, the naturalization of millions of them would have profound implications for the future of American politics.
Adams also noted that DHS was “not only rushing green card holders toward citizenship before the next election, but also jamming previous visa holders toward green card status.”
Obama Administration Encourages Deportable Illegals to Stay in th U.S.
In May 2015, Elizabeth A. Hacker and Mahlon F. Hanson, former immigration court judges who went on to become board members of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, wrote the following:
"In our days at the immigration court, it always was a serious and somber moment when at the conclusion of a hearing we rendered a decision finding an illegal alien inadmissible or deportable, denying all applications for deportation relief, and issuing an order removing that alien back to their home country. The issuance of such an order would immediately be followed by an advisory letter to the alien explaining their rights to appeal and warning them of the criminal consequences of re-entering the country without proper authority. But now, that process is entering into the absurd.
"Our former colleagues are now being forced to tell deportable aliens that the final deportation order they’re issuing isn’t actually an impediment to receiving the President’s grants of deferred action. Even though the aliens violated our immigration laws (and dozens more in some cases), they’re now being advised that they can receive work permits, a social security card, tax benefits, parole, travel documents, and, if the alien is from Central America, the opportunity to bring qualifying family members to the United States at taxpayer expense. And even [if] they’re not eligible for deferred action, they know they should simply sit tight as DHS may issue more policy memoranda expanding eligibility for deferred action and additional benefits.
"Past and continuing lapses in enforcement policy have resulted in nearly 900,000 illegal aliens who have received final orders of deportation and have exhausted all appeals but who are still in the United Sates. Nearly 175,000 of these aliens with final orders are convicted criminals and 167,000 of these criminal aliens remain at large. The number of 'non-departed' aliens grew by about 25,000 cases from 2013 to 2014. It is evident that current immigration enforcement policy under the Obama Administration is increasing and promoting illegal immigration rather than solving the illegal immigration problem."
DHS Releases Thousands of Illegal-Alien Criminals
In June 2015, the Washington Times reported that approximately 17,000 (i.e., 57%) of the illegal-immigrant criminals whom Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials had released from custody in 2014 were discretionary, meaning that DHS could have kept them in detention but elected instead to give them freedom as their deportation cases moved through the system. Among those 17,000 were more than 3,700 “Threat Level 1” criminals, meaning those who are generally considered to be the top priority for deportation.
Obama Gives Free Pass to Businesses That Hire Illegals
On June 16, 2015, the Washington Times reported: "President Obama took office vowing to go after unscrupulous employers who hire illegal immigrants, but worksite audits have plunged over the last year and a half, according to a report released Tuesday by the Center for Immigration Studies, tumbling along with the rest of immigration enforcement.... Through the first five months of this fiscal year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted just 181 workplace audits and brought charges against only 27 employers, putting it on pace for fewer than 500 audits and just 65 arrests this year. That’s less than 15 percent of the total audits conducted in 2013.... The indictments have dropped dramatically so far in 2015,... to just 39 for the first eight and a half months of the fiscal year."
Obama Vows to Veto Bill to Defund Sanctuary Cities
In July 2015, the Obama administration pledged to veto a House bill that would strip federal law-enforcement grants from "sanctuary cities."
Obama Plans to Expand Executive Amnesty Program
In July 2015, the Obama administration proposed a new rule (through the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS) designed to expand the president's 2013 illegal immigrant waiver program that permitted those with a U.S. citizen spouse or parent to stay in the U.S. if they could demonstrate that leaving the country would cause "extreme hardship" to the spouse or parents. The Washington Free Beacon explained:
The new rule expands eligibility to a host of other categories of illegal immigrants beyond those with citizen spouses and parents.
“DHS proposes to expand the class of aliens who may be eligible for a provisional waiver beyond immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to aliens in all statutorily eligible immigrant visa categories,” the proposed rule stated. “Such aliens include family-sponsored immigrants, employment-based immigrants, certain special immigrants, and Diversity Visa program selectees, together with their derivative spouses and children.”
The waivers allow illegal immigrants to stay in the country while they await visas, and avoid a penalty under U.S. law that bars persons who entered the country illegally from returning for at least three years.
An illegal immigrant who lives in the country for less than a year and then leaves is barred from reentering the United States for three years. Any time spent illegally in the United States over one year results in the illegal immigrant being inadmissible for 10 years. The waiver program allowed individuals to remain in the country and avoid these penalties.
The proposed rule also called
for expanding the definition of who qualified as a family member who might suffer "extreme hardship" if their illegal relatives were to be deported.Obama Plans to Bring 10,000 Syrian "Refugees" to America in 2016
In September 2015, President Obama announced that he planned to bring some 10,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S. in 2016. Islam scholar Robert Spencer pointed out the inherent danger of such a policy:
"The real problem is that last February, the Islamic State promised to flood Europe in the near future with as many as 500,000 refugees. That future is upon us, and it is important to note that the Islamic State was not simply talking about engulfing the continent in a humanitarian crisis that would strain its resources to the breaking point. The jihadis were also planning to cross into Europe among those refugees, and now they’re boasting that they have done so. An Islamic State operative boasted last week that among the flood of refugees, 4,000 Islamic State jihadis had entered Europe. 'They are going like refugees,' he said, but they were going with the plan of sowing blood and mayhem on European streets. As he told this to journalists, he smiled and said, 'Just wait.' He explained: 'It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world, and we will have it soon, inshallah.'"
Confirming the gravity of Spencer's warning was a September 2015 poll by ORB International, which found that "22 per cent of Syrians believe that ISIS has had a positive influence on their country." Journalist Daniel Greenfield noted: "These numbers are even worse than they look because ISIS is controversial even among Sunnis over its Caliphate and its massacres of other Sunni Jihadist groups. So this doesn't measure overall support for terrorism. It doesn't even measure support for Al Qaeda, which is currently in an on and off fight with ISIS. It just measures support for the absolute worst of the bunch."
Obama Says It Is "Un-American to Criticize Illegal Aliens
At a September 2015 town hall hosted at a Des Moines, Iowa high school, President Obama said: "This whole anti-immigrant sentiment that's out there in our politics right now is contrary to who we are, because unless you're Native American, your family came from someplace else." "Don't pretend that somehow a hundred years ago the immigration was all smooth and strict," he added. "That's not how it worked. It wasn't some orderly process, where all the rules applied and all the rules were strict, and 'I came the right way.'" Obama was particularly incensed by people who might deem those brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents at a young age as illegals, and said that they were American citizens in every way except for a mere "piece of paper." "When I hear folks talking as if somehow these kids are different than my kids or less worthy in the eyes of God, that somehow that they are less worthy of our respect and consideration and care, I think that's un-American," he stated.
Push to Create 8.8 Million New citizens Before Election Day
On September 17, 2015, the Obama administration announced a new campaign to get some 8.8 million legal immigrants in the United States on U.S. citizenship rolls prior to election day 2016. Reported WorldNetDaily:
"Specifically, the Obama administration is pressing for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to make it easier for the legals to pass the test, the New York Times reported. The agency is going to provide practice tests via cellphone, as well as hold study and preparatory workshops in key spots around the country. The fee to take the citizenship tests will remain at $680, but can be paid by credit card, the newspaper said. Team Obama has reached out to regional immigration groups for assistance with the more than 70 workshops that have been organized, the New York Times said. The administration’s also planned about 200 naturalization events in the next week. But that’s not all. The White House is embracing a plan to make immigrants feel welcome, in part by adjusting Justice Department rules so that those who want to help with the citizenship process can get their credentials quicker."
More Than 1,500 Terror-Linked Refugees Admitted to U.S. in 2014
On September 30, 2015, Breitbart.com reported:
"The Obama administration admitted 1,519 terror-linked refugees, asylees and migrants during 2014, by exempting them from a federal statute that bars entry to individuals with terror ties, according to the Department of Homeland Security.... Each admission was allowable under 'the Secretary of Homeland Security’s exercises of discretionary authority,' the report said. The beneficiaries either received 'military-type training' from a terrorist organization while 'under duress,' provided voluntary medical care to members of a terrorist organization, had existing immigration-related reasons for entry, or were affiliated with specific groups that the agency identified as eligible for exemptions.... Most of the 1,519 were let into the country under the nation’s huge refugee program. Some won asylum, and 614 were granted lawful permanent residence because of other immigration-related claims. The report did not describe these immigration claims, but they could include family ties to immigrant citizens.
"The new Americans were tied to a diversity of armed groups, including four groups from Burma, five groups from Ethiopia and Eritrea, two groups from El Salvador, four group from Iraq, plus groups from Kosovo, Indochina, and Cuba. Some of the groups have Muslim members, but nearly all groups are focused on ethnic fights, such as a long-running campaign by ethnic groups to secede from diverse Ethiopia. According to the report,
"'In FY2014, exemptions were processed under the Secretary’s exercise of authority for certain activities or affiliations with: certain Burmese groups (the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF), the Chin National Front/Chin National Army (CNF/CNA); the Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army (KNU/KNLA), and the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP)); the Cuban Alzados; certain Ethiopian and Eritrean groups (Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrean Kunama (DMLEK), Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP), and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)); certain Salvadoran groups (Nationalist Republican Alliance (Alianza Republicana Nacionalista or ARENA; Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN)); Hmong-affiliated groups; certain Iraqi groups that opposed the Saddam Hussein regime (Iraqi National Congress (INC), the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)); The Iraqi Uprisings in 1991; and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).'"
Teacher-Training Guides Geared Toward the Needs of Illegal-Alien Students
In October 2015, the Obama administration released a 63-page guidebook designed to help teachers and school administrators better serve illegal immigrant student continents nationwide. Replete with tips on how to apply for financial aid, discover which college scholarships are available to undocumented students, and how schools can create a "safe" and "welcoming" environment for illegals, the guidebook also instructed teachers and fellow-students to "publicly demonstrate support for undocumented students," embrace "multiculturalism," and host an "Undocumented Immigrant Awareness Day." Also among the manual's contents were the following:
- “Embrace and value diversity and the cultural backgrounds of all students. Teachers (and other educational personnel) who serve immigrant students should understand the cultural and educational backgrounds of their students.”
- “Develop services and resources that specifically support undocumented students. Case studies of undocumented youth in higher education have highlighted lingering feelings of stigma and fear related to their status, as well as instances of discrimination on campuses.”
- "Host events that empower and put youth voices on display; these can be opportunities to raise awareness and support positive youth development."
- "Work with school or district personnel to establish anti-bullying campaigns and participate in anti-stigma groups, which can develop awareness among all students, parents and educators."
- "Host an undocumented immigrant awareness day and consider partnering with community and stakeholder groups to amplify the event."
- "Publicly demonstrate support for undocumented students."
- "Educate all students about the challenges and strengths of undocumented students, such as by hosting an Undocumented Week."
- "Model multicultural sensitivity for students and other personnel."
- "Engage in self-reflection to address personal biases and increase multicultural competence."
- "Proactively address bullying or subtle forms of discrimination between peers, education personnel, and others."
- "Incorporate discussions around diversity and immigration into instruction."
- "Plan and host trainings on multicultural issues that educate teachers and [students]."
- "Ensure that all students have access to important information about the educational rights of undocumented youth."
An entire subsection of the guidebook was dedicated to instructing school staff and peers on how to "embrace and value diversity" through engaging in "self-reflection to address personal biases and increase multicultural competence." "Teachers (and other educational personnel) who serve immigrant students," said the book, "should understand the relationships with educators is especially important for undocumented youth, and affirming attitudes toward students’ backgrounds and cultures may help to facilitate greater mutual trust." To this end, faculty were encouraged to never ask a student about his or her immigration-status. "Do not inquire about a student’s immigration status," the guidebook instructed. "Youth may have legitimate fears about disclosing this information." The guidebook added that if a student were to divulge his or her immigration status to a teacher, that teacher must never share the information with others: "If a youth discloses his or her immigration status, convey openness and an assurance of confidentiality in discussing the topic."
Faculty were also instructed to "withhold judgment and biases about immigration status," and were told that they "should not make assumptions about students’ immigration status." Further, the guidebook stated that families of "undocumented" youth should be accommodated by providing communications in their native language.
Schools and colleges were also instructed to be “proactive” in “advertising the ways in which your institution supports undocumented students.” This included publishing “undocumented student brochures” to help students “feel welcomed.” Additionally, campuses were urged to connect the immigrant-students to advocacy groups in their respective regions as well as:
- "Post resources for undocumented students clearly and prominently on the main campus or institutional Web site."
- "Post FAQs and links to federal, State, and community resources on the institutional Web site and highlight on the institution’s social media outlets."
Obama Plans to Circumvent Federal Court Ruling Against DAPA
On November 2, 2015, The Hill reported the following:
A newly leaked internal DHS memorandum produced for an off-the-record agency conclave reveals that the Obama administration is actively planning to circumvent a federal court injunction that suspended part of last November’s deferral-based amnesty initiative. The document, apparently prepared as follow-up from a DHS “Regulations Retreat” last summer, appears sure to re-ignite concerns in Congress as well as federal judges in the Fifth Circuit. The Administration has already been criticized from the bench for handing out work permits to hundreds of thousands of deferred action beneficiaries, in direct violation of a district court’s order. With the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals deciding any day now whether to deny the Administration’s request to reverse that injunction, this public leak has come at a critical juncture for U.S. enforcement policy.
Last June, four months after Texas federal judge Andrew Hanen’s order to freeze President’s DAPA and Expanded DACA programs ... DHS’s immigration policy makers apparently held a “Regulations Retreat” to discuss “different options” for “open market Employment Authorization Document (EAD) regulatory changes.” EAD is the statutory term for work permits. From a memo recording these discussions, we now know that the Obama DHS has, rather than pausing to allow the courts to assess the constitutionality of its enforcement nullification initiatives, been gearing up to roll out one or more of four plans drawn up at the meeting, each one designed to provide EADs to millions of nonimmigrants, including those lawfully present and visa overstayers, crippling the actual employment-based visa system on the federal statute-book.
The internal memo reveals four options of varying expansiveness, with option 1 providing EADs to “all individuals living in the United States”, including illegal aliens, visa-overstayers, and H-1B guest-workers, while option 4 provides EADs only to those on certain unexpired non-immigrant visas. Giving EADs to any of the covered individuals, however, is in direct violation of Congress’s Immigration & Nationality Act and works to dramatically subvert our carefully wrought visa system.
As mentioned, the first plan the memo discusses basically entails giving EADs to anyone physically present in the country who until now has been prohibited from getting one.... [I]ncluded here would be those 4.3 million people covered by the president’s DAPA and Expanded DACA programs whose benefits were supposed to have been halted in the Hanen decision. On top of working around the Hanen injunction, this DHS plan would also dole out unrestricted EADs to those on temporary non-immigrant visas, such as H-1B-holders (their work authorizations being tied to their employers) and another 5 to 6 million illegal aliens thus far not covered by any of the President’s deferred action amnesty programs. By claiming absolute authority to grant work authorization to any alien, regardless of status, DHS is in effect claiming it can unilaterally de-couple the 1986 IRCA work authorization statutes from the main body of U.S. visa law. While DHS must still observe the statutory requirements for issuing visas, the emerging doctrine concedes, the administration now claims unprecedented discretionary power to permit anyone inside our borders to work.
The anonymous DHS policymakers state that a positive for this option is that it “could cover a greater number of individuals.” In a strikingly conclusory bit of bureaucratese, they state that because illegal aliens working in the country “have already had the US labor market tested” it has been “demonstrat[ed] that their future employment won’t adversely affect US workers.” The labor market, in other words, has already been stress-tested through decades of foreign-labor dumping and the American working-class, which disproportionately includes minorities, working mothers, the elderly, and students, is doing just fine. Apparently, the fact that 66 million Americans and legal aliens are currently unemployed or out of the job-market was not a discussion point at the DHS “Retreat.”
At Least 12 Vetted Refugees Who Entered the U.S. Subsequently Became Terrorists
On November 24, 2015, Senator Jeff Sessions released a list of 12 vetted refugees who had come to the United States and then quickly joined jihad plots to attack the country. The senator's objective was to point out the danger inherent in President Obama's plan to bring thousands of new, supposedly vetted Syrian migrants into the United States. “This list — which only covers 2015 and not the many jihadis from prior years — illustrates just how incapable our government is of vetting refugees or predicting post-entry radicalization,” said a Hill aide. “Yet the president wants a completely blank-check [in the appropriaitons bill] to fund not only all of these existing refugee programs from across the globe, but to add a permanent Syrian resettlement program to it — funded directly out of Americans’ paychecks and retirement accounts,” the aide said. Breitbart.com reprinted the list released by Sessions:
- On January 29, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, a federal warrant was unsealed for the arrest of Liban Haji Mohamed – a native of Somalia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship – for allegedly providing material support to Harakat Shabaab Al-Mujahidin, also known as Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda. Mohamed is believed to have left the U.S. on July 5, 2012, with the intent to join Al-Shabaab in East Africa. Mohamed previously lived in the metro D.C. area and worked as a cab driver, and is believed to have snuck across the border to Mexico after being placed on the no-fly list. Carl Ghattas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. Field Office emphasized the importance of locating Mohamed, “because he has knowledge of the Washington, D.C. area’s infrastructure such as shopping areas, Metro, airports, and government buildings . . . [t]his makes him an asset to his terrorist associates who might plot attacks on U.S. soil.” Arrest Warrant
- On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Abdinassir Mohamud Ibrahim – a native of Somalia who came to the United States as a refugee in 2007 at the age of 22 and subsequently adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status – was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for conspiring to provide material support to Al-Shabaab, a designated foreign terrorist organization, and for making a false statement in his immigration paperwork. Ibrahim knowingly lied in his application for citizenship, and previously lied on his request for refugee status, by falsely claiming that he was of a member of the minority Awer clan in Somalia and subject to persecution by the majority Hawiye clan. However, Ibrahim was actually a member of the Hawiye clan and not subject to persecution. In fact, according to the Complaint, “Ibrahim’s family was famous . . . [and] [t]hrough his clan lineage, Ibrahim was related to known Somali terrorists[.]” Ibrahim also admitted he had lied on his citizenship application by having previously lied on his refugee application by falsely claiming that he had not provided material support to a terrorist group, when he had in fact provided material support in the form of cash to an Al-Shabaab member. Criminal Complaint Indictment
- On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Abdullah Ramo Pazara – a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship in 2013 – was named in an indictment against six individuals listed below. Pazara was not charged because, purportedly, he is believed to be dead. According to the Indictment, the others listed provided material support to Pazara, who left the United States to go to Syria and fight with ISIS just eleven days after becoming a citizen. Among other things, Pazara allegedly told an individual about a mission where they “captured a large area, killed even individuals, captured one, and added that they intended to slaughter the prisoner the follow[ing] day.” According to press accounts, at the time Pazara was purportedly killed in Syria, he was a deputy to one of the top ISIS commanders. Indictment
- On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Ramiz Zijad Hodzic – a native of Bosnia, and a purported Bosnian war hero who came to the United States as a refugee – was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, with providing material support to terrorists, and conspiring to kill and maim persons in a foreign country. According to the indictment, among other things, Hodzic obtained money that he used to “purchase materials and supplies including: United States military uniforms, tactical combat boots, military surplus goods, tactical gear and clothing, firearms accessories, optical equipment and range finders, rifle scopes, equipment, and supplies . . . intending that the materials and supplies would thereafter be transferred to, and used to support” Abdullah Ramo Pazara and ISIS. Indictment
- On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Sedina Unkic Hodzic – the wife of Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, and a native of Bosnia who came to the United States as a refugee – was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. According to the indictment, Sedina, along with her husband, collected money from third parties and wired it to terrorists abroad. Also according to the indictment, Sedina shipped six boxes of U.S. military uniforms, combat boots, tactical clothing and gear, military surplus items, firearms accessories, rifle scopes, optical equipment, first aid supplies, and other equipment to terrorists abroad. Indictment
- On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Armin Harcevic – a native of Bosnia who came to the United States as a refugee, and subsequently adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status – was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and with providing material support to terrorists. According to the Indictment, Harcevic collected money from third parties and wired it and his own funds to terrorists abroad. Indictment
- On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Nihad Rosic – a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship – was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, providing material support to terrorists, and conspiring to kill and maim persons in a foreign country. According to the indictment, Rosic sent funds to terrorists abroad, and attempted to travel to Syria to join terrorists in Syria and Iraq. According to press accounts, Rosic was atruck driver and former mixed martial arts fighter who had previously been chargedwith endangering the welfare of a child after punching a woman in the face while she held a child, and in a separate incident, was charged with assault after allegedly beating his girlfriend with a belt. Indictment
- On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Mediha Medy Salkicevic – a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship – was charged withconspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. According to press accounts, Salkicevic was formerly an employee with a cargo company that deals with items coming in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. According to the indictment, Salkicevic collected money from third parties and wired it and her own funds to terrorists abroad. Indictment
- On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Jasminka Ramic – a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship – was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. According to the indictment, Ramic collected money from third parties and wired it and her own funds to terrorists abroad. Indictment
- On April 20, 2015, in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, Abdurahman Yasin Daud – who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, came to the United States as a refugee when he was a child, and subsequently adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status – was charged (along with six others) with conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to ISIS. Daud and another individual drove from Minnesota to San Diego to attempt to get passports, cross the border into Mexico, and fly to Syria in an attempt to join ISIS. Criminal Complaint Indictment
- On April 20, 2015, in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, Guled Ali Omar – who was also born in a Kenyan refugee camp, and sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee when he was a child, adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship – was charged with conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to ISIS. Omar is the younger brother of another indicted fugitive, Ahmed Ali Omar, who left the United States in 2007 to fight for Al-Shabaab. Another one of his brothers, Mohamed Ali Omar, was convicted in March of threatening federal agents when they came to the family’s residence to interview Guled Omar. During a press conference, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, Andy Luger, said that Omar “never stopped plotting,” and had previously attempted to leave the United States. Criminal Complaint Indictment
- On August 12, 2015, in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho, Fazliddin Kurbanov – a native of Uzbekistan who came to the United States as a refugee in 2009 – was found guilty on charges that he conspired and attempted to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and possessed an unregistered destructive device. U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin stated that he “conspired to provide material support to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and procured bomb-making materials in the interest of perpetrating a terrorist attack on American soil.” According to press reports, Kurbanov began his life as a Muslim, but faced persecution after his family converted to Orthodox Christianity. After coming to the United States with his family as a refugee, Kurbanov is said to have converted back to Islam and radicalized. Superseding Indictment Original Indictment (Idaho) Original Indictment (Utah)
In an Easter 2016 radio address, President Obama vowed that he had no plans to back off his promise to admit 100,000 refugees from ISIS strongholds in the Middle East before the end of the year: "We have to wield another weapon alongside our airstrikes, our military, our counterterrorism work, and our diplomacy. And that's the power of our example. Our openness to refugees fleeing ISIL's violence. Our determination to win the battle against ISIL's hateful and violent propaganda – a distorted view of Islam that aims to radicalize young Muslims to their cause." Obama added: "[O]ur most important partners are American Muslims. That's why we have to reject any attempt to stigmatize Muslim-Americans, and their enormous contributions to our country and our way of life. Such attempts are contrary to our character, to our values, and to our history as a nation built around the idea of religious freedom." "It's also counterproductive," said Obama. "It plays right into the hands of terrorists who want to turn us against one another; who need a reason to recruit more people to their hateful cause.... We will succeed; the terrorists will fail. They want us to abandon our values and our way of life. We will not. They want us to give in to their vision of the future. We will defeat them with ours. Because we know that the future belongs not to those who seek only to destroy — but to those who have the courage to build."
Obama Plans to Increase Syrian Refugees to U.S., from 10,000 to 200,000
On April 25, 2016, Paul Bedard reported in the Washington Examiner:
In a move around the standard refugee settlement process in America, the United Nations and the administration are scheming to find other ways to boost the number of Syrians entering the country, from 10,000 this year to possibly 200,000.
U.S. officials, meeting with United Nations human rights officials in Geneva, joined in a project that looks to "alternative safe pathways" to setting Syrian refugees in America and Europe that include pushing colleges and universities to offer tuition programs and encouraging Syrians already in the country to open their homes to those who've fled the war-torn Middle East nation.
The plan already has one victory. Last week, the University of Southern California revealed that it is offering five free tuition programs for Syrian refugees, including one in the school's journalism program.
The effort was revealed Monday in a Center for Immigration Studies post. It quoted a Georgetown University professor and U.N. refugee policy advisor who spelled out the backdoor plan to settle thousands more Syrians past the 10,000 President Obama has pledged to OK this year....
At the end of the meeting, [Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees] said that many countries had made commitments, among them:
— Increasing the number of resettlement and humanitarian admission places.
— Easing family reunification and increase possibilities for family reunion.
— Providing scholarships and student visas for Syrian refugees.
— Removing administrative barriers and simplify processes to facilitate and expedite the admission of Syrian refugees.
— Using resources provided by the private sector in order to create labor mobility schemes for Syrian refugees.
It would be just the latest expansion of benefits for refugees that Americans and other nations already supply. Secrets report[s], for example, that poor refugee children receive more cash payments, food stamps and Social Security than poor American children.
Obama Praises German Chancellor Angela Merkel for Her Policy of Admitting Syrian Refugees
On Sunday, April 24, 2016, the Washington Times reported:
Under fire at home for his program to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees this year, President Obama said Sunday that he is “proud” of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the people of Germany for accepting far more migrants from the war-torn country.... “In Europe, she is on the right side of history on this,” Mr. Obama said. “I’m very proud of her for that and I”m very proud of the German people for that.” The president added: “For her to take on some very tough politics in order to express not just a humanitarian concern but a practical concern that in this globalized world, it is very difficult for us to simply build walls, she is giving voice to the kinds of principles that I think bring people together rather than divide them.”
Germany accepted about a half-million refugees from Syria in 2015 alone, a policy that has caused significant tensions in the country. Members of Congress, many governors and Republican presidential candidates have criticized Mr. Obama for taking in the refugees, citing security and terrorism concerns. Mrs. Merkel has advocated the creation of “safe zones” inside Syria to protect refugees and slow the mass migration. Mr. Obama opposes the move, saying it would require a large deployment of ground forces to enforce, although he said a cease-fire that collapsed was aimed at creating safe havens in certain regions of the country.
Report: Migrants to Germany Were Linked to 69.000 Crimes & Attempted Crimes During First Quarter of 2016
On June 8, 2016, the Reuters news agency reported:
Migrants in Germany committed or tried to commit some 69,000 crimes in the first quarter of 2016, according to a police report that could raise unease ... about Chancellor Angela Merkel's liberal migrant policy. There was a record influx of more than a million migrants into Germany last year and concerns are now widespread about how Europe's largest economy will manage to integrate them and ensure security. The report from the BKA federal police showed that migrants from northern Africa, Georgia and Serbia were disproportionately represented among the suspects.
Absolute numbers of crimes committed by Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis -- the three biggest groups of asylum seekers in Germany -- were high but given the proportion of migrants that they account for, their involvement in crimes was "clearly disproportionately low", the report said.... It is the first time the BKA has published a report on crimes committed by migrants containing data from all of Germany's 16 states, so there is no comparable data. The report showed that 29.2 percent of the crimes migrants committed or tried to commit in the first quarter were thefts, 28.3 percent were property or forgery offences and 23 percent offences such as bodily harm, robbery and unlawful detention. Drug-related offences accounted for 6.6 percent and sex crimes accounted for 1.1 percent.
Almost All Syrian Refugees to the U.S. Are Muslims
On May 23, 2016, CNS News reported:
"The Obama administration has admitted 499 Syrian refugees so far this month, with no Christians among them. Of the 499 admitted in May, 495 are Sunni Muslims and the remaining four are described simply as 'Moslem' in State Department Refugee Processing Center data. Since FY2016 began on October 1, a total of 2,235 Syrian refugees have been resettled in the United States. Of them, 10 (0.44 percent) are Christians: three Catholics, two Orthodox, one Greek Orthodox and four refugees identified simply as 'Christian.' Christians make up the biggest non-Muslim minority in Syria – about 10 percent before the civil war erupted. Meanwhile the State Department figures show that 2,170 (97 percent) of the 2,235 Syrian refugee newcomers in FY2016 are Sunni Muslims. The rest are made up of 17 Shi’a Muslims, 27 other Muslims, 10 Yazidis, and one refugee identified as 'other religion.'"
Journalist Daniel Greenfield put these figures in context: "The Syrian Civil War is a religious conflict among Sunni and Shiite Muslims. The only genuine refugees are non-Muslims such as Christians and Yazidis. There is no such thing as a Muslim refugee."
Texas Judge Rebukes Obama Justice Department for Lying in Immigration Case
On May 19, 2016, the Washington Times reported:
A federal judge ordered the Justice Department to send its lawyers back to remedial ethics classes ... after finding that the administration repeatedly misled the court in the high-profile challenge to President Obama’s deportation amnesty. Judge Andrew S. Hanen said the lawyers knew the administration was approving amnesty applications but actively hid that information both from him and from the 26 states that had sued to stop the amnesty. Worse yet, even after the court ordered a halt to the whole amnesty, the Department of Homeland Security approved several thousand more applications, in defiance of the court’s strict admonition, Judge Hanen said, counting at least four separate times the government’s attorneys misled him.... “The Government’s lawyers failed on all three fronts,” he wrote in a 28-page ruling. “The actions of the DHS should have been brought to the attention of the opposing counsel and the Court as early as December 19, 2014. The failure of counsel to do that constituted more than mere inadvertent omissions — it was intentionally deceptive.” The spanking was the most serious rebuke — but by no means the only one — that Obama administration lawyers have faced at the hands of judges in recent months, and Judge Hanen questioned what was going on at the Justice Department to have reached this point....
The case stems from Mr. Obama’s policy, announced in November 2014, to try to grant a proactive three-year stay of deportation, and legal work permits, to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants. Texas led a large group of states in suing, arguing the proposal violated both federal law and overstepped the president’s constitutional powers. Judge Hanen agreed, halting the amnesty just days before it was to begin accepting applications in February 2015. But in the months between November and February, the Department of Homeland Security had already begun approving three-year amnesties for so-called Dreamers, or young illegal immigrants who’d already qualified for two-year amnesties under a previous 2012 Obama policy. All told, more than 100,000 Dreamers’ applications were approved during that time.
The government lawyers said they didn’t think the Dreamers’ applications were an important part of the court case, arguing those should have been treated as a change to the 2012 policy, not part of the new 2014 policy. They undercut their credibility, however, when several thousand more applications were approved in the weeks after Judge Hanen issued his February order halting the amnesty — something the government didn’t admit to until early March. “The decision of the lawyers who apparently determined that these three-year renewals under the 2014 DHS Directive were not covered by the Plaintiff States’ pleadings was clearly unreasonable. The conduct of the lawyers who then covered up this decision was even worse,” Judge Hanen wrote.
In court, the government lawyers had admitted they’d left the judge with the wrong impression and expressed regret and sorrow. But the government said it wasn’t intentional, and said it had taken steps to try to correct the problems — including going back and recapturing almost all of the amnesties approved or sent out after Judge Hanen’s February order officially halting the program. They did not, however, cancel the 100,000 three-year amnesties approved between November and February. Judge Hanen ordered the government to turn over a list of those names to the court, and said the 26 states that sued can move to get a look at the lists if they can prove damages stemming from any of those applications.
Judge Hanen thought about tossing all of the government’s arguments out, but said since the merits of the case are now pending before the Supreme Court, he couldn’t do that. He also thought about imposing a financial penalty on the government, but said since taxpayers would end up footing that bill, it seemed pointless. Instead, he said the best he could do was order the remedial ethics classes. His order applies to department lawyers at headquarters in Washington who practice in any of the 26 states that sued over the amnesty. He ordered at least three hours of ethics training a year, and said it must be “taught by at least one recognized ethics expert who is unaffiliated with the Justice Department.”
White House Enlists Hollywood Celebrities to Spread Pro-Immigration Message
In June 2016, White House Associate Director of Public Engagement Jesse Moore and his staff wrote a social media script on immigration and disseminated it, via email, to numerous Hollywood celebrities, asking them to post a series of talking points, as written, under the Twitter hashtag “ImmigrationHeritageMonth.” “Will you send it out too, using your social media accounts?” read the White House email. “And let us know when you do so we can continue to amplify your voice – and this message.” The talking points included the following:
- “June is Immigrant Heritage Month and I stand with immigrants. Share this video to celebrate the monumental contributions immigrants have made — and continue to make every day!”
- “#IAmAnImmigrant honors each of our families’ sacrifices, struggles and successes – America’s strength is reflected in our diversity built over generations.”
- “Now, more than ever, it’s important we stay united. I’m proud to be part of the #IAmAnImmigrant movement.”
- “We’re so excited to join the “IAmAnImmigrant movement.”
The White House email also included a video and urged the recipients to join the #IAmAnImmigrant movement. In addition, it stated: “We are a nation of immigrants, and whether you are an immigrant, the child or grandchild of immigrants, or you stand with immigrants –- it’s on all of us to ensure that we continue to recognize the role immigrants continue to play at the core of this country.”
Secret Releases of Criminal Aliens
On June 4, 2016, the Boston Globe reported:
"They were among the nation’s top priorities for deportation, criminals who were supposed to be sent back to their home countries. But instead they were released, one by one, in secret across the United States. Federal officials said that many of the criminals posed little threat to the public, but did little to verify whether that was true. It wasn’t.
"A Globe review of 323 criminals released in New England from 2008 to 2012 found that as many as 30 percent committed new offenses, including rape, attempted murder, and child molestation — a rate that is markedly higher than Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have suggested to Congress in the past. The names of these criminals have never before been made public and are coming to light now only because the Globe sued the federal government for the list of criminals immigration authorities returned to neighborhoods across the country. A judge ordered the names released in 2013, and the Globe then undertook the work that the federal government didn’t, scouring court records to find out how many released criminals reoffended....
"The Globe found that a Massachusetts man was supposed to be deported after he served jail time for bashing his ex-girlfriend on the head with a hammer — but ICE released him in October 2009. Three months later, he found the ex-girlfriend and stabbed her repeatedly. A Rhode Island man who had served prison time for a home invasion was also released from immigration detention in 2009; five years later, he was arrested for attacking his former girlfriend. In 2010, ICE released a man with a lengthy criminal record in Maine; a few months later he grabbed a man outside a 7-Eleven, held a knife to the man’s throat, and robbed him."
Obama on Pace to Issue More Than 1 Million Green Cards to Migrants from Majority-Muslim Countries
On June 17, 2016, Breitbart.com reported: "The Obama Administration is on pace to issue more than a million green cards to migrants from majority-Muslim countries, according to an analysis of Department of Homeland Security data. A chart released by the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest Friday details the surge in immigration to the U.S. from majority-Muslim countries since President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Specifically, in the first six fiscal years of Obama’s presidency (FY2009 – FY2014), his administration issued 832,014 green cards to migrants majority-Muslim countries, the most of which were issued to migrants from Pakistan (102,000), Iraq (102,000), Bangladesh (90,000), Iran (85,000), Egypt (56,000), and Somalia (37,000). The total 832,014 new permanent residents do not include migrants on temporary, nonimmigrant visas — which allow foreign nationals to come to the U.S. temporarily for work, study, tourism and the like. As the subcommittee notes, the number also does not include those migrants who overstayed the terms of their visas.... A report from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) indicated that in FY 2013, 91.4 percent of Middle Eastern refugees (accepted to the U.S. between 2008-2013) received food stamps, 73.1 percent were on Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance and 68.3 percent were on cash welfare."
The Green Card Totals for 2009-14 were: Pakistan (102K), Iraq (102K), Bangladesh (90K), Iran (85K), Egypt (56K), Somalia (37K), Uzbekistan (30K), Turkey (26K), Morocco (25K), Jordan (25K), Albania (24K), Afghanistan (21K), Lebanon (20K), Yemen (20K), Syria (18K), Indonesia (17K), Sudan (15K), Sierra Leone (12K), Guinea (9K), Senegal (8K), Saudi Arabia (9K), Algeria (8K), Kazakhstan (8K), Kuwait (6K), Gambia (6K), United Arab Emirates (5K), Azerbaijan (4K), Mali (4K), Burkina Faso (3K), Kyrgyzstan (3K), Kosovo (3K), Mauritania (3K), Tunisia (2K), Tajikistan (2K), Libya (2K), Turkmenistan (1K), Qatar (1K), Chad (1K)
Most Refugees to U.S. Are Muslims
On August 17, 2016, the Daily Mail reported:
"Muslims make up the largest religious group entering the U.S. as refugees this year, a new Pew Research survey reveals. According to data from the State Department's Refugee Processing Center, 28,957 refugees that have been admitted to the country since October 1, 2015 identity as Muslim. That's 46 per cent of the total 63,000 refugees this past year and the largest of any religious group. Christians are the second largest refugee group, with a marginally less 27, 556 refugee believers.... Syrians and Somalis together make up more than half of this year's Muslim refugees (8,511 and 7,234 respectively), with the others coming from Iraq (6,071), Burma (2,554), Afghanistan (19,48) and other countries (2,639). These numbers reflect only refugees, who make up approximately ten percent of all new legal immigrants to the country."
The number of Muslim refugees to the U.S. spiked dramatically beginning in 2013, the first year of Obama's second term as president. In 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, close to 30,000 Muslims had been admitted to the U.S. as refugees each year, whereas the totals had ranged fron 10,000 to 20,000 per year during Obama's first term.
Plan to Admin 110,000 Refugees in 2017
On September 15, 2016, WorldNet Daily reported:
"The White House kicked off “Welcoming Refugee Week” Thursday, two days after it informed Congress it would be boosting the number of refugees delivered to American shores by nearly 30 percent. The Obama administration told Congress it wants to permanently resettle 110,000 refugees in fiscal 2017 which begins Oct. 1, roughly half of them coming from Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma and other jihadist hotspots where vetting of refugees is extremely difficult. That’s ... up 29 percent from 2016 levels of 85,000 refugees, and up 57 percent from 2015 when 70,000 refugees were delivered to U.S. cities and towns. But the actual numbers will likely end up being much higher than even the president is admitting, possibly as high as 150,000 to 200,000, experts say.
"That’s because, as WND earlier reported, the Obama administration has consulted with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grande on ways to bring more refugees from Syria into the United States under 'alternative pathways.' This stream of refugees would not be called refugees at all, but rather they would enter the U.S. on student visas, health visas, expansion of the family-reunification visa and other creative methods.
"Under the Refugee Act of 1980, a law authored by the late Ted Kennedy, most of the authority over the program was given to the executive branch. Congress controls funding for the program, but everything else – how many refugees come from what countries and where they get sent upon arrival in the U.S. – is controlled by the president. Congress, regardless of what party is in control, has in 35 years never denied funding for a president’s refugee program, meaning it is very unlikely it will do so this year."
Obama's Rush to Naturalize Immigrants Before the 2016 Elections
On September 22, 2016, the Washington Times reported:
"The Homeland Security Department is granting as many citizenship applications as it can to try to sway participation in this year’s presidential election, an internal department document shows.
"An email obtained by Senate Republicans shows a Texas immigration office demanded volunteers to work weekends, hoping to get as many people onto the citizenship rolls as possible before the end of September — which would give them enough time to register to vote in November.
"Democrats and immigration groups had launched a drive to try to get eligible immigrants to become citizens in time to vote against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. The advocates fell well short of their goal of registering 1 million citizens, but the 600,000 they [did] get to sign up by June have created a massive backlog that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is now working through.
"The memo from a branch chief at the USCIS Houston field office said in the July memo that the goal was to get as many applications approved as possible 'due to the election year.'"
Obama Accelerates Influx of Migrants to U.S.
On October 7, 2014, Breitbart.com reported:
The Obama administration accelerated the resettlement of refugees into the United States during October, the first month of FY 2017, bringing in a total of 945 refugees on October 5 and 931 on October 6.
In the first six days of October, the Obama administration resettled 3,062 refugees in the country, according to the Department of State’s interactive website. The second consecutive day of more than 900 new refugee arrivals raised the daily average or arriving refugees to 510 refugees per day for the first six days of FY 2017 (see chart). If that rate continues for the next 359 days of FY 2017, the Obama administration would resettle 185,000 refugees in the country, 75,000 more than the 110,000 he proposed to Congress for FY 2017, and 100,000 more than the 84,995 refugees resettled in FY 2016.
Most of the ISIS Terrorists Who Killed 130 in Paris in November 2015, Entered Europe by Posing As Refugees
In October 2016, SkyDeskNews.com reported:
Seven of the nine ISIS jihadis who launched a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris last November entered Europe by posing as refugees. The attackers were part of a group of 14 who plotted their way into Western Europe by riding the wave of the migrant crisis last year, according to Hungarian security officials. By using fake Syrian passports, many of the attackers, already on European terror watch-lists, were able to slip back into Europe undetected, along with thousands of other refugees.
One hundred and thirty people were killed in November when a group of gunmen and suicide bombers launched a wave of attacks across Paris, targeting the Bataclan concert hall, the Stade De France and several restaurants and bars. Three hundred sixty-eight people were also injured in the attacks, almost 100 of them seriously.
Some of the remaining terrorists in the group participated in the Brussels attacks earlier this year in three coordinated suicide bombings at Brussels Airport and at Maalbeek metro station killed 32 people.
Counterterrorism officials in Hungary believe ISIS set up a “logistics hub” in the country in the Summer of 2015 at the peak of the migrant crisis, with jihadis taking advantage of Europe’s porous borders to slip into Western Europe through Eastern Europe's Balkan routes.
Record Number of Refugees Admitted to U.S.
On December 26, 2016, Breitbart.com reported:
The Obama administration has accepted 25,584 refugees into the United States in the two months and 26 days since FY 2017 began on October 1, according to the Department of State interactive website. That number is nearly double the 13,791 refugees accepted during the comparable period between October 1, 2015 and December 26, 2015 of the prior fiscal year (FY 2016).
It is also more than the previous high for the Obama administration during his eight years in office, which occurred in FY 2013 when 18,228 refugees were accepted between October 1, 2012 and December 26, 2012.
The Obama administration appears to be rushing as many refugees as possible into the country before President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President on January 20, 2017.
Obama Administration Approved Legal Permits for Criminal Alien Who Raped and Killed Stepdaughter
On March 22, 2017, the Washington Times reported:
The Obama administration last year began the process of granting legal status to a 36-year-old illegal immigrant with a long criminal rap sheet whom agents had twice tried to deport, and who now stands accused of killing his 15-year-old girlfriend, mother of one child with him and pregnant with another. The Texas case, involving Armando Garcia-Ramirez, a Mexican, is raising new questions about immigration enforcement under President Obama, as supporters of President Trump point to the matter as proof of a broken immigration system. Mr. Garcia may even have been the girl’s stepfather at the time he impregnated her — something federal authorities apparently missed last year after he was arrested for smuggling five other illegal immigrants into the U.S. Prosecutors declined to pursue the smuggling case, and Mr. Garcia made bond on immigration charges and was let go. Months later Mr. Garcia was even approved for a work permit, letting him get a job and making him eligible for taxpayer benefits.
“This guy is the reason that Trump got elected,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican. “No matter how many times people say it’s not true, and the media says things like this are on the fringe, this is why Trump got elected. And in California, this is not a fringe case.”
Mr. Garcia’s criminal record is lengthy.
He was arrested in 2008 for assault, but the local prosecutor opted to drop the case. He was charged with theft in 2009, but the case was dismissed. In 2011 immigration agents arrested him and tried to deport him, but he was granted bond and released. It’s unclear what happened to that case, but five years later, he was still in the U.S., where he was arrested for smuggling five other illegal immigrants, according to federal documents. Mr. Garcia was turned over to Homeland Security agents, who pushed for a trial, but the local U.S. attorney refused to prosecute, saying there wasn’t a good witness.
Immigration agents again tried to deport Mr. Garcia, but he was again released on bond. A month and a half after he was released, he applied for legal status in the U.S. — despite his criminal record — and in November 2016 the Obama administration approved his work permit, giving him the right to work, get a driver’s license and apply for a Social Security number and taxpayer benefits.
Mr. Garcia’s case touched all three immigration agencies within Homeland Security: Customs and Border Protection, where Border Patrol agents were involved in the smuggling case; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which handled the failed deportation efforts; and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is the agency he asked to approve his legal status.
CBP and USCIS declined to comment, while ICE officials said it was immigration judges who granted him bond in both deportation cases. ICE failed to explain why the cases were never pursued further to actually deport Mr. Garcia from the country.
In the latest case, Mr. Garcia apparently had a lengthy relationship with the 15-year-old girl, whom local reports identified as Jennifer Delgado. According to local news reports, Mr. Garcia was Delgado’s stepfather, and federal documents say they had a one-year-old child together, and that Delgado was nine months pregnant with another child of his.
The one-year-old child would have already been born — to a girl who would have been 14 at the time — when ICE agents and prosecutors last had Mr. Garcia in their custody.
“She cannot consent to sex, so he was obviously sexually assaulting her or sexually abusing her for a number of years in that situation,” Randy McGibney, director of programs at ChildSafe, told News 4 San Antonio.
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