On July 30, 2010, an official memo surfaced revealing the Administration’s intent to circumvent Congress and grant amnesty administratively. In the memo, titled “Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” senior officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offered Director Alejandro Mayorkas a variety of ways to “reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization” and to extend protections and benefits to many individuals until amnesty is granted.
Among other recommendations, the USCIS officials suggested adopting increased use of “deferred action,” expanding the use of “Parole-in-Place,” allowing individuals in temporary protected status to obtain lawful permanent residence, issuing “Notices to Appear,” strategically to implement Administration “priorities,” and issuing employment authorization cards valid for two years.
At the time, a spokesman from USCIS tried to minimize the impact of the memo, saying it was an internal draft that should not be equated with official action or policy of the department.” However, in the ensuing years, the Administration would indeed take many of the unilateral actions outlined in the memo. For instance, in March of 2011, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton issued a memo stating that his agency would only enforce the law against those illegal aliens who meet Administration “priorities.” And in June 2012, the Administration announced that it would grant “deferred action” as well as two-year work permits to certain illegal aliens who had arrived before the age of sixteen, a policy the Department of Homeland Security called “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA).
At the time the USCIS memo was leaked, the Administration was still looking forward to having Congress pass amnesty legislation during this President’s time in office, but President Obama has now declared that he has given up on Congress acquiescing to his wishes and is determined to act unilaterally on an even wider scale. Exactly which “administrative alternatives to comprehensive immigration reform” the President has decided on is still unknown, but true immigration reformers such as Sen. Jeff Sessions believe he may be planning to expand DACA to five or six million additional illegal aliens. The President has promised to issue his decree by the end of the summer.
Read more at FAIR’s President Obama’s Record of Dismantling Immigration Enforcement.