President Obama: Executive Order Amnesty? … Update
With a stroke of a pen, will President Barack Obama deem a path to citizenship, ah hem, amnesty as the nation’s latest new law for an estimated 12-20 million illegal aliens by using his executive powers? According to Numbers USA, “a non-partisan site, that has “Democrats, Republicans, Reformers and Independents” among their “advisors” and in their “offices,” that’s precisely what seven senators are trying to find out.
In a letter sent to President Obama on June 20, 2010, signed by Sens. Grassley, Hatch (R-Utah), Vitter (R-La), Bunning (R-Ky.), Chambliss (R-Ga.), Isakson (R-Ga.), Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Cochran (R-Miss.), the lawmakers ask the President to clarify rumors that the administration is planning to use “deferred action or parole for illegal aliens,” should the Senate fail to pass comprehensive immigration reform with the required 60 votes to become law of the land.
Read more here.
Following is the text of the letter:
June 20, 2010
Dear President Obama:
We understand that there’s a push for your Administration to develop a plan to unilaterally extend either deferred action or parole to millions of illegal aliens in the United States. We understand that the Administration may include aliens who have willfully overstayed their visas or filed for benefits knowing that they will not be eligible for a status for years to come. We understand that deferred action and parole are discretionary actions reserved for individual cases that present unusual, emergent or humanitarian circumstances. Deferred action and parole were not intended to be used to confer a status or offer protection to large groups of illegal aliens, even if the agency claims that they look at each case on a “case-by-case” basis.
While we agree our immigration laws need to be fixed, we are deeply concerned about the potential expansion of deferred action or parole for a large illegal alien population. While deferred action and parole are Executive Branch authorities, they should not be used to circumvent Congress’ constitutional authority to legislate immigration policy, particularly as it relates to the illegal population in the United States.
The Administration would be wise to abandon any plans for deferred action or parole for the illegal population. Such a move would further erode the American public’s confidence in the federal government and its commitment to securing the borders and enforcing the laws already on the books.
We would appreciate receiving a commitment that the Administration has no plans to use either authority to change the current position of a large group of illegal aliens already in the United States, and ask that you respond to us about this matter as soon as possible.
Click here for the PDF.
Update: According to Fox News, Homeland Security Denies Interest in Blanket Amnesty for Illegals
The Department of Homeland Security on Friday denied any plans to grant blanket amnesty to the “entire illegal immigrant population,” following claims from senators and others that the Obama administration has been holding behind-the-scenes talks to craft a gameplan for mass legalization.
The concern is that DHS, in a bid to bypass Congress, would extend what is known as deferred action or parole — actions usually taken on a case-by-case basis — to millions of illegal immigrants at once.
The department statement, however, did not address the possibility of giving a selective reprieve to the segment of the population holding expired visas — as opposed to those who crossed illegally. This is something that a former Bush administration official told FoxNews.com could be an option for the administration.
But the statement, while affirming its authority to grant the reprieves “on the merits of cases,” said that authority is applied on a “case-by-case” basis and would not be drastically expanded.
“DHS does not grant deferred action without a review of relevant facts,” the statement said. “To be clear, DHS will not grant deferred action to the nation’s entire illegal immigrant population.”
The Department of Homeland Security expressed the administration’s support for the recently unveiled Senate immigration overhaul, calling it “a step in the right direction.”
But several sources said it was their understanding that the administration has been discussing alternatives to congressional action.
The former Bush official had spoken with at least people involved in the administration talks on the subject and said at the minimum, the administration was “studying legal ways to legalize people without having to go through any congressional debate about it.”
Keep reading here.