As FAIR has been reporting for months, the Obama administration has been issuing memos recommending that large categories of illegal aliens are not to be deported. We have seen many recent examples of “prosecutorial discretion” used to grant deferred action to illegal aliens.

Yet at the same time, we’re witnessing media reports indicating that the Border Patrol is not operating under new Obama administrative amnesty guidelines. A recent Texas Tribune story included a Border Patrol (BP) agent saying “until there is policy and guidance from DHS, we still do what we have to do.” We’ve heard similar statements from ICE field agents revealing that, “it’s business as usual.” ICE agents say they’ve heard nothing from headquarters.

So what is happening?

The most likely possibility is that because it’s still early in the process, not all ICE and Border Patrol agents have been formally advised yet of the new non-enforcement policies. Over time, ICE and BP will be given more guidance and more “low priority” illegal aliens will simply being let go.

But another possibility is that the Obama administration is snookering its Hispanic base. The administration has announced administrative amnesty guidelines to appease a small, but much needed voting base and is buying time until the election. At the same time, the administration will continue apprehensions and deportations as usual to satisfy Obama’s broader base of moderates and independent voters who expect continued enforcement.

While cynical, this option is politically advantageous. And if this were true, it does not imply a benign state of affairs. By continuing to dangle an amnesty carrot, the incentive to come into the country illegally remains strong. And of course, President Obama is corrupting immigration policy by using it as a political instrument.

It’s just a theory, of course. But with no transparency in the policy-making process, and invitations to key White House meetings given only to illegal alien special interests groups, we do have to wonder.