On Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the administrative amnesty long in the works is set to begin on December 4 in Baltimore and Denver. That news is bad enough; the story also suggests that the program could be expanded in January. [Obama Administration Showing Leniency in Immigration Cases, by Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times, November 18, 2011]
Obama’s game plan is as advertized. Apparently preferring to stay on the safest ground, the Department of Homeland Security working hand-in-hand with the Justice Department, but circumventing Congress, has chosen the elderly, children who have been in the country more than five years, students who came to the U.S. under the age of 16 and are enrolled in a college degree program and victims of domestic violence as those who will most likely be taken out of deportation proceedings.
The DHS memorandum issued Thursday comes up just short of requesting that the “low priority cases” be terminated but it did request that they be given “administrative closure.”
Predictable statements came from all the usual suspects. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano insisted her department will stay focused on deporting dangerous criminals. Latino advocacy groups and immigration lawyers are delighted. House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith denounced Obama’s selective amnesty as an insult to the 22 million Americans who can’t find a full time job. Rubbing salt into the wounds of the 9 percent unemployed: the pardoned aliens will likely get work permits.
In her Center for Immigration Studies blog, Janet Kephart wrote that if Obama has his way, more immigration controls might disappear. Among the most significant are first, the State Department would eliminate visa interviews, including background checks, on visitors from 36 countries. Second, border patrol agents would be directed not to conduct random checks at commercial transportation hubs within 100 miles of the border. And third, immigration and customs agents would be told not to file charges against any aliens unless they have extensive criminal records.
Given the magnitude of Obama’s unconstitutional immigration law violations, Congress remains eerily silent. For that matter, so does America.