Immigration

Unions, GOP Senators raise alarm on Obama’s amnesty power-grab

Unions, GOP Senators raise alarm on Obama's amnesty power-grab

The Obama administration’s de facto amnesty for younger illegal aliens has major Homeland Security unions and key lawmakers up in arms over the policy’s dangerous effects and lawless basis.

The heads of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents’ and Border Patrolmen’s unions joined Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and David Vitter (R-La.) at a recent press conference in Washington. The labor leaders exposed the end-run legalization scheme that Obama higher-ups are implementing.

U.S. agents are under orders to take the word of all illegal aliens who claim they qualify for this amnesty, union leaders said. Word from the field has it that “significant numbers” of unqualified illegals are exploiting the Obama policy.

“Officers have been told that there is no burden for the alien to prove anything,” the head of the ICE union, Chris Crane, said. Any agents who buck the Obama amnesty directive stand “under threat of losing their jobs.”

Crane, a veteran ICE special agent, serves as president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, which has more than 7,000 members. George McCubbin is president of the National Border Patrol Council, with more than 17,000 members.

Exploiting loopholes

Two years ago, Obama political appointees at Homeland Security scoped out loopholes they could exploit in a notorious memorandum that got leaked. They considered provisions in law intended only for rare exceptions. Officials would apply the narrow exceptions wholesale to entire groups of illegal aliens.

ICE head John Morton, another Obama flunky, had already been disassembling effective immigration enforcement tools. He issued an order a year ago. The infamous Morton memo uses the ruse of “prosecutorial discretion”—a concept intended for case-by-case application—to achieve wide-reaching amnesty results.

The ICE Council unanimously took a vote of no confidence in its members’ agency leadership, naming Morton and assistant director Phyllis Coven. The union stated, “ICE is misleading the American public with regard to the effectiveness of criminal enforcement programs like the ICE ‘Secure Communities Program’ using it as a selling point to move forward with amnesty related legislation.”

Morton memo abuses authority

The most recent Obama abuse of immigration authority relies on the Morton memo. The ICE directive to field officers forces them to give a free pass to every illegal alien claiming to be in high school or going for a GED.

These illegals get “prosecutorial discretion” based on their word alone. They need not produce written proof to back up their claims. And once amnesty claimants speak up, union leaders report that the alien lawbreakers effectively gain immunity from all our laws.

Further, the Obama amnesty rewards these illegal aliens with a work permit. The aliens can then lawfully land an American job.

Inviting widespread fraud

The Obama administrative amnesty is inviting widespread fraud and abuse. “We believe that significant numbers of people who are not DREAMers are taking advantage of this practice to avoid arrest,” Crane said.

That’s not surprising, as Mexico’s 50 consulates held a DREAMer Day July 23 to ready Mexican-born illegals to exploit the Obama initiative.

A DREAMer is an illegal alien who would gain legal immigration status under the DREAM Act. This amnesty bill ostensibly would benefit those illegal aliens who were brought into this country as a child.

Under Obama’s amnesty, eligible illegals are supposed to be no more than 30 years old. But again, positive proof isn’t a priority for the administration.

The DREAM Act suffers from the same fraud- and abuse-prone loopholes as most other amnesty legislation and the Obama fiat amnesty. Such a flaw risks public safety.

It’s already at risk. Crane cited an example where an illegal alien previously arrested four times, including for felony crimes, walked free under this Obama scheme. “He’s a DREAMer,” Crane recounted what prosecutors said. “Release him.”

‘Inappropriate use of executive power’

Sens. Sessions and Vitter aren’t alone in actively confronting the administration. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and 19 Senate colleagues penned a strongly phrased letter to the president after he announced his intent to grant administrative amnesty.

“Not only is your directive an affront to our system of representative government and the legislative process,” the senators wrote, “but it is an inappropriate use of executive power.”

Sen. Vitter criticized the legally suspect administrative action on the Fox News Channel. And Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano met a slew of questions when she appeared at the House Judiciary Committee.

Sen. Grassley is now considering a lawsuit to challenge the administrative amnesty. “It’s more probably legal action, because we know what the law is and you know when there’s this sort of discretion in the law, it’s based upon a case-by-case basis, not doing 10,000 or 100,000 people all at once,” he told The Hill newspaper.

Obama’s illegitimate power grab amounts to implementing legislation that Congress never enacted. The Senate rejected consideration of the DREAM Act in a lame duck session late in 2010. There’s no acceptable basis for what Obama’s DHS is doing.

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