Kenneth Palinkas, president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, a union representing 12,000 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers and staff, issued a statement Monday explaining why his union has decided to officially oppose the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill.
“The USCIS Council was not consulted in the crafting of the Gang of Eight’s legislation,” Palinkas writes. “Instead, the legislation was written with special interests, producing a bill that makes the current system worse, not better. S. 744 will damage public safety and national security and should be opposed by lawmakers.”
A key theme throughout the USCIS statement is a lack of trust in the Obama administration to enforce existing law, and the assertion that Schumer-Rubio does nothing to ensure future enforcement. For example, the USCIS statement reads:
USCIS officers who identify illegal aliens that, in accordance with law should be placed into immigration removal proceedings before a federal judge, are prevented from exercising their authority and responsibility to issue Notices To Appear (NTAs). In the rare case that an officer attempts to issue an NTA, it must first be approved by a secretive panel created under DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, which often denies the officer’s request. Illegal aliens are then permitted to remain in the United States as USCIS officers are not able to take action or contact ICE agents for assistance.
And the results from Obama’s existing amnesty program, deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), are not encouraging:
Currently, USCIS reports a 99.5% approval rating for all illegal alien applications for legal status filed under the Obama Administration’s new deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) policies. DHS and USCIS leadership have intentionally established an application process for DACA applicants that bypasses traditional in-person investigatory interviews with trained USCIS adjudications officers. These practices were put in place to stop proper screening and enforcement, and guarantee that applications will be rubber-stamped for approval, a practice that virtually guarantees widespread fraud and places public safety at risk.
While illegal aliens applying for legal status under DACA polices are required to pay fees, DHS and USCIS are now exercising their discretion to waive those fees. Undoubtedly these practices will be replicated for millions of illegal aliens if S.744 becomes law.
So, every time you hear a Schumer-Rubio proponent talk about how the “path to citizenship” contains “fines and back taxes,” remember that the Obama administration already is not enforcing any fines and probably will not be enforcing any fines in the future.
The USCIS statement concludes, “In closing, the legislation will provide legal status to millions of visa overstays while failing to provide for necessary in-person interviews. Legal status is also explicitly granted to millions who have committed serious immigration and criminal offenses, while dramatically boosting future immigration without correcting the flaws in our current legal immigration process.”