Policy: Immigration

Amnesty lobby pushing for illegal administrative amnesty if congressional amnesty fails

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Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll,Immigration,Barack Obama,Analysis

Amnesty advocacy groups, frustrated by the lack of legislative progress in Congress, are preparing to pressure President Obama to expand his existing administrative amnesty program if Congress fails to pass an amnesty bill soon.

“There are groups that are for immigration reform no matter what,” Adelina Nicholls, the executive director of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, told National Journal. “We have the other track. … The other track is Barack Obama.”

Nicholls is referring to a policy Obama announced June 15, 2012, that unilaterally gifted temporary legal status to all illegal immigrants under the age of 30 who can provide any evidence that they were brought to the United States before their 16th birthday. Those granted legal status through the program may then apply for a work permit and a Social Security number. More than 99 percent of all illegal immigrants who have applied have been granted amnesty through the program.

Amnesty advocates believe that if Obama has the legal authority to grant amnesty to these illegal immigrants, then he also has the legal authority to grant amnesty to all illegal immigrants.

And the amnesty advocates are right. If Obama’s June 2012 amnesty program is legal, then there is nothing stopping him from granting amnesty to all illegal immigrants.

Problem is, Obama’s June 2012 amnesty program is illegal.

Opponents of lawless open immigration have not found a plaintiff that has adequate standing to challenge Obama’s amnesty program, but a federal judge said the program was illegal when he ruled that border agents did not have the right to challenge Obama because they are his employees this July.

“In its previous Order, the Court found that Congress’s use of the word ‘shall’ in Section 1225(b)(2)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act imposes a mandatory obligation on immigration officers to initiate removal proceedings against aliens they encounter who are not ‘clearly and beyond a doubt entitled to be admitted,’” U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor wrote in his opinion, “Therefore, the Court concluded that Plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the Department of Homeland Security has implemented a program contrary to congressional mandate.” 

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