By Joe Guzzardi
August 8, 2012
No one is surprised but millions of Americans are disappointed and angry. The estimated number of work permits President Obama will unilaterally issue to alien DREAMers now stands at 1.8 million. On June 15, when Obama first announced his unconstitutional executive order to remove certain aliens age 16-30 from possible deportation, the White House established 800,000 as the target. But upon closer inspection, analysts predicted that the actual number would be 1.2 million. After still more study, 1.8 million will become quasi-permanent residents and receive the added bonus of being able to enter the workforce to compete head-to-head with nearly 20 million unemployed or underemployed Americans.
Another update: the beneficiaries of coveted work permits are no longer referred to as DREAMers but rather “Childhood Arrivals” and, accordingly, the title of the president’s initiative is “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.”
According to an August 7 Migration Policy Institute (MPI) press release, the revised estimate reflects “the updated DHS guidelines that youth lacking a high school or GED degree would be eligible to apply for deferred action as long as they have re-enrolled by the date of their application.”
From the DHS information, MPI estimates that 350,000 illegal immigrants (ages 16 and older) without a high school degree or GED (in other words, high school drop outs) could potentially be ineligible for deportation and would also receive work authorization, the same is as if they were legal immigrants.
Aliens will be immune from deportation if they were (allegedly) brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, have completed – or are in the process of completing – high school or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed.
There are, however, no set DHS guidelines for confirming any of the information the aliens present; the entire process is open to massive fraud. Aliens will not have to appear personally so many of the conclusions DHS will make about eligibility will be based on good faith, rarely a dependable barometer.
The president’s staggering audacity to unilaterally pardon millions of aliens and then reward them with highly coveted work permits shocks even the most hardened and cynical Capitol Hill observers. Obama, in a demonstration of absolute power, bypassed Congress which has the sole responsibility for immigration legislation. In fact, since 2001 when it was first introduced, Congress under both Republican and Democratic control defeated the DREAM Act multiple times.
The childhood arrivals programs has not had Congressional oversight hearings, cost analysis or impact, studies or any other form of debate that would have exposed its detrimental effect on Americans, especially the unemployed.
DHS has established August 15 as the target date to formally accept applications. One thing of which you can be sure, as weeks pass more upward estimates will be forthcoming.
And, on the horizon, another alien entitlement looms: driver’s licenses. Once the childhood arrivals have work permits, how will they get to their place of employment if they don’t drive? Look for a hard push at the state level to relax the licensing requirements to include illegal immigrants.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. His columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]