Five Questions Obama Must Answer about his Amnesty

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question-mark-160071_640Notwithstanding the constitutional questions President Obama’s unilateral amnesty decree poses, the sheer logistics of carrying it out presents an almost endless array of unanswered questions. For starters, here are five questions FAIR believes the media and the public must start asking:

How can so many applications be processed?

If 5 million illegal aliens apply for amnesty in starting in 2015, the United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) will receive roughly 21,000 applications a day.  If each application takes 30 minutes, that will require 630,000 hours to process.  USCIS already has a backlog of 2.5 million legal applications they’re working through.  The additional flood of applications expected means the agency will need 2652 more employees, each working 240 hours a year to do nothing but reviewing amnesty documents. Will the agency staff up and what is the cost of that?

How can adequate background checks be done?

Given the logistical impossibility of processing the volume of applications, how can USCIS ensure that rigorous background checks are conducted?  Each application must be screened for criminal histories, fraud and potential national security threats.  Self-attesting declarations must be verified and submitted documents must be scrutinized for authenticity before social security numbers and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) are – or should be – issued.  What assurance does the administration offer the American public that applications will not be simply rubber-stamped?

What will replace the Secure Communities program?

The November 20, 2014 memo from DHS Acting Director Thomas Winkowski states that, “The Secure Communities program, as we know it, will be discontinued.”   The memo indicates it will be replaced with a new program but provides no details as to when – if ever – it might be implemented.

Secure Communities is the resource local police depend on to identify illegal aliens. When someone gets booked into a jail for any offense they are fingerprinted. Those prints are sent to state police and to the FBI for criminal background checks. Secure Communities allows ICE to access the information to see if the prints match someone known to be in the country illegally.  If so, ICE can order the alien detained as a first step toward deportation.  When the program is scrapped, local police will have limited ability to determine immigration status and will be forced to “catch and release.” Without the Secure Communities program – and without detainers which have also been discontinued – how can local law enforcement identify those who have no legal right to reside in the country?

Doesn’t the new executive action really grant amnesty to ALL illegal aliens in the U.S.?

During his nationwide address, President Obama’s declared he will grant amnesty to the illegal alien parents of U.S. citizens and LPRs and massively expand DACA – the current amnesty program he put in place 2 years ago for younger illegal aliens.  Combined, almost 5 million illegal aliens will now qualify.  What he did not mention is the fine print in the November 20th DHS memo which further “reprioritizes” those who should not be removed and expands prosecutorial discretion. Illegal aliens who have resided in the country prior to January of 2014 – and who have not been convicted of a violent felony – will not be priorities for removal.  Will anyone actually, ever again be deported for an immigration violation?

How much will it cost taxpayers?

Because the president acted unilaterally, the Congressional Budget Office did not have a bill to “score,” thus no mechanisms were in place to evaluate present and future costs. Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation estimates the net cost — which is total benefits minus total taxes paid in — of the amnesty recipients will be around $2 trillion over the course of their lifetime. FAIR’s analysis shows that newly amnestied aliens will be eligible for a smorgasbord of public benefits including Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment, Social Security, the EITC and a honeypot of state and local benefits.  What is the exact cost, what benefits will illegal aliens get and how will millions of illegal aliens with work authorization impact American workers and wages?

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About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

13 Comments

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  2. avatar

    I was a patrol agent back in 1986 when President Reagan signed an amnesty bill. A few years later, I was promoted to a special agent position in the former INS. I can tell you from extensive personal experience that illegal entries will continue to increase and 20,000 uniformed agents won’t be able to stop the majority who try. The borders are simply to rugged to cover 24/7 with that number of agents. This administration has removed back up stations, whose agents were relied upon to monitor mass transportation hubs. So now the illegal alien, once they breach the immediate border area, they are free to roam about America.

    Since the Obama administration has all but halted interior immigration law enforcement, people coming in on temporary visas from the many countries across the globe, will be more inclined to violate the conditions of their admission. Meaning, if the visa doesn’t permit employment, they will simply ignore it. They will overstay their date of required departure and await the next amnesty.

    The DHS does not have the resources to adequately investigate the applicants claims. They simply apply on line, without any interview and little or no documemtation is required of the applicant.

    Just think of the Blind Shiek, Mir Amal Kansi, and the Tsarnaev family. They all gamed a loose immigration system and Americans paid a very dear price. This will be even worse.

  3. avatar

    all 2652 will come armed with 2 rubber stamps. A pool will be started to see who can stamp the quickest.

    • avatar

      Why would they want to stamp the fastest? The faster you go the quicker you are done. you won’t earn as much money doing it that way.

  4. avatar

    Adequate Background Checks????

    Now you have me rolling on the ground in laughter….the open border banks and even the Social Security Agency knows that identity fraud is occurring and does nothing about it. Why shout this Executive Order Amnesty be any different?

  5. avatar

    Just further proof that this amnesty solves absolutely nothing and will only make enforcement infinitely harder. The fix to our “broken system” is to enforce the laws already on the books. All this does is break the system even further. Give lawbreakers an incentive to further break the law and they will do it.

    • avatar
      Franco Chaister on

      Leland…..if you believe the system is fine…then you are in the wrong country……

      • avatar

        That’s what you got out of what I wrote? I said “the fix to our ‘broken system’ is to enforce the laws already on the books.” Look up the word fix in the dictionary.

        • avatar

          And you realize about our reality…….!! open your eyes……………….the system is broken and so are you.

    • avatar

      Exactly. The more you give amnesty to, the faster they will come pouring across our borders! Enough of the crazy P.O.T.U.S! He needs to be gone, now!

    • avatar

      The immigration system isn’t broken, the oath of office taken by our chief executive is what’s broken. THAT’S the problem.