ImmigrationCritics: Obama administration advancing amnesty by executive order

Published 25 July 2012

A new study by an anti-illegal group provides a detailed, 3-year timeline of what the groups describes as the Obama administration’s strategy of carrying out a policy of de facto amnesty for millions of illegal aliens through executive policy decisions


A new, 33-page report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an anti illegal immigration non-profit group, provides a detailed timeline of what the groups says is the Obama administration’s strategy of carrying out a policy of de facto amnesty for millions of illegal aliens through executive policy decisions.

In the report, which was obtained by Fox News prior to publication, FAIR says that since 2009, the Obama administration has systematically weakened effective immigration enforcement policies, moved aggressively against state and local governments that attempt to enforce immigration laws, and stretched the concept of “prosecutorial discretion” to a point where it has rendered many immigration laws meaningless. “Remarkably, the administration has succeeded in doing all this with barely a peep of protest from Congress,” FAIR says.

The result, FAIR says, is that despite the fact that the U.S. Constitution grants Congress plenary authority over immigration policy, the Executive Branch is now making immigration policy unconstrained by constitutional checks and balances. “This report chronologically highlights the process that has unfolded over the past three and half years,” FAIR says.

The groups says that a review of the Obama administration’s record shows:

  • The administration’s effort to end policies that enforce and deter illegal immigration. This includes the cessation of meaningful worksite enforcement against employers who hire illegal aliens and the removal of the illegal workers. It also includes ending effective partnership programs with state and local governments, such as the 287(g) program, that provide a structure through which state and local agencies may enforce immigration laws.
  • The administration’s “intimidation” (FAIR’s words) of state and local governments determined to enforce federal immigration laws. President Obama has turned the Department of Justice into the administration’s attack dog, filing lawsuits against states that pass their own immigration enforcement laws. When lawsuits fail, the Department’s Civil Rights division launches meritless investigations designed to harass local governments and officials who attempt to enforce the law.
  • The administration’s dependence on illegal alien advocates to make U.S. immigration policy for the Executive Branch. President Obama has placed amnesty advocates in key positions throughout his administration. These appointees have worked openly with advocacy groups to shape a series of policies that amount to backdoor amnesty.
  • Outright deception on the part of the administration designed to convince the American public that immigration laws are being vigorously enforced. The Obama administration repeatedly engages in efforts to inflate its record of deporting illegal aliens. These practices include the release of data that is later exposed to be inaccurate. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security carefully select data to claim that our “borders are more secure than ever,” even as violence along the southern border escalates to alarming proportions.

DHS spokesman Matthew Chandler defended the administration in response to the FAIR report, noting that ICE carried out a record 396,000 removals in fiscal 2011 — with most of them being “convicted criminals.” This proportion of convicted criminals slated for deportation, he said, reflects a significant increase from the prior administration.

He told Fox News that, “Over the past three years, this administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to transform the immigration enforcement system into one that focuses on public safety, border security and the integrity of the immigration system.  As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a national security or public safety risk, including immigrants convicted of crimes, violent criminals, felons, and repeat immigration law offenders, we have taken a number of steps to transform our immigration enforcement system,” he said. “Because ICE is congressionally funded to remove around 400,000 people each year, the agency has to prioritize our enforcement efforts to focus on individuals whose removal has the biggest impact on public safety, including immigrants convicted of crimes and repeat immigration law violators.”

It should also be noted that the U.S. Supreme Court, in its decision on Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law, has accepted the administration’s position that immigration policy and law are determined by the federal government and its agencies, not by individual states.

— Read more in President Obama’s Record of Dismantling Immigration Enforcement (FAIR, July 2012)