For the past two weeks politicians, the media, pundits and others have attempted to provide their perspectives on the travesty that President Obama foisted on us on Friday, June 15th when he announced that he would, in essence, provide employment authorization to, in his estimate, 800,000 illegal aliens he said were sometimes referred to as “DREAMERs.” in an obvious reference to the DREAM Act. It must be remembered that while the President claimed that he was taking the unusual step of issuing executive orders to provide “young kids” with employment authorization because Congress had failed to act, he was compelled to take these actions. However, Congress DID act. They acted decisively to defeat the DREAM Act and Comprehensive Immigration Reform. In fact, a majority voted “Nay” on the DREAM Act because they properly determined that the legislation was not worthy of passing.
It is a sad day when the President of the United States misuses his office to mislead Americans by falsely characterizing Congressional actions as a “failure to act.” He then uses these false assertions to do an end-run around the legislative process and, in so doing, the Constitution.
In an Op-Ed on Fox News Latino from June 17th, I focused on the many misleading and false statements contained in the President's remarks and in his proposed executive orders. I mentioned that what he referred to as the use of 'Prosecutorial Discretion” should really be referred to as “Prosecutorial Deception!”
The unintended consequences of this action are numerous. First, we are often told that illegal aliens do the work Americans won't do. In reality it is not that Americans won't do most of those jobs, it is that American and lawful immigrant workers would not be willing to work under the substandard conditions for wages that won't enable them to support themselves and their families. This is about exploitation of a desperate and vulnerable workforce: illegal aliens.
Back in 1986 when the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) was enacted and nearly 4 million illegal aliens were provided with lawful status, they often lost their jobs that they had been doing when they demanded, of their employers, that they be paid “on the books” and that they be paid prevailing wages. This is not conjecture on my part, I was an INS Special Agent back then and my colleagues and I took the phone calls made by innumerable aliens who were irate over their loss of their jobs to illegal aliens. The employers did not do without workers however; they simply hired newly arrived illegal aliens, thus starting the cycle over again.
What has not been made clear is whether or not aliens who have been granted employment authorization under Obama's executive action would be immediately eligible for unemployment benefits. This is an important matter because if huge numbers of these aliens were to lose the jobs that they had been doing when they demand prevailing wages and proper working conditions, they would then be able to apply for and receive unemployment benefits. Where would the money to pay for this come from?
Next, you should consider that at the moment an alien is granted employment authorization, that alien would immediately be eligible to apply for a Social Security card and a driver's license from the state where that alien has been residing. The driver's license is the de facto national identity document for the United States. These licenses enable those to whom they are issued to have access to airplanes and both corporate and government office buildings.
Illegal aliens who are attempting to hide criminal histories or links to terrorist organizations in their home countries or other countries would seek to obtain employment authorization and consequently driver's licenses and other identity documents in false names. Again, this is not conjecture but something that I observed innumerable times during my thirty-year career with the INS and something that the 9/11 Commission, to which I provided testimony, noted in the final report.
Finally, the aliens who will have been issued employment authorization will be able to take jobs that have potential national security implications. Again, if the huge numbers of aliens who are processed are able to game the beleaguered bureaucracy of USCIS and acquire official identity documents under false names, the potential exists that those affiliated with criminal or terrorist organizations would be able to acquire jobs in such critical venues.
First and foremost, our immigration laws are intended to protect American lives and American jobs. If the administration follows through on the ill-conceived plans articulated by the President, both will be put in grave jeopardy because of his use of “Prosecutorial Deception!”