ImmigrationCritics charge Obama initiative is amnesty by executive order

Published 6 August 2012

Critics of the Obama administration’s immigration order charge that the administration is”legislating by executive edict”; they say that the Obama administration is set, in effect, to begin implementing the DREAM Act amnesty on 15 August, even though the legislation was defeated by Congress as recently as December 2010

Critics of U.S. immigration policy, and of policies toward illegal immigrants, were quick to criticize the Friday release of a 16-page guideline document detailing the new Obama administration’s policy of deferring deportation action against certain classes of illegal immigrants.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) called Friday’s DHS outline for implementing deferred action for millions of illegal aliens, “further evidence of the Obama administration’s determination to carry out a massive amnesty for illegal aliens through illegal and unilateral action.”

FAIR charges that.

In addition to a massive amnesty that Congress never legislated, the announcement that work authorization will be granted to anyone who can ‘demonstrate an economic necessity to work’ — in other words virtually everybody — is a unilateral move on the part of the administration to nullify a critical immigration law Congress did enact,” commented Dan Stein, president of FAIR.

FAIR says that Friday’s announcement included concrete assurances for illegal aliens that information provided by applicants will not be used against them in the future. Information released by DHS and in a telephonic news conference conducted by Alejandro Mayorkas, director the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), “provide little assurance that the interests and security of the American people will be protected in the process, FAIR asserts.

FAIR also note that although four processing centers will accept applications, applicants will not be required to present themselves for in-person interviews. “This procedure will make it virtually impossible to detect fraudulent application, or identify aliens with criminal records, gang members, or those with ties to terrorist groups,” FAIR says.

With today’s announcement, the pretense that the Obama administration is merely exercising discretion is gone. This is legislating, plain and simple, and it is stealing from the American people and Congress the power that is rightfully theirs.  What will be carried out in just twelve days is nothing short of a radical and unilateral rewrite of U.S. immigration laws by the Executive Branch,” Stein charged.

Unfortunately, our constitutional system doesn’t provide a lot of protection for the American people when a chief executive abandons his oath of office to uphold the laws of the land. The constitutional system has been thrown into chaos by a president who is ignoring his responsibilities to carry out the federal law,” said Stein.  “Congress must step in and circumscribe these actions, and ensure there is proper legal standing to challenge this lawless behavior,” he concluded.

Representative Steve King (R-Iowa), a foe of illegal immigration, accused the president of “legislating by executive edict.” He told the Wall Street Journal that Obama had shown “contempt for the Constitution and the role of the legislature.”

King said he had hired a legal team to challenge the directive.