Executive Orders vs. Executive Actions

AND DHS SECRETARY’S MEMORANDUM

by Sharon Rondeau

Portion of memorandum signed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson instructing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Border Patrol to expand the DACA program and to prioritize most illegal aliens as low for removal from the country. Where did Johnson obtain his authority to issue such a memorandum?

(Dec. 4, 2014) — On November 25, The Post & Email reported that a congressional staffer had told us in a telephone conversation that White House occupant Barack Hussein Obama had signed “executive orders” changing immigration policy to allow up to 5,000,000 illegal aliens relief from deportation for up to three years, among other benefits, as outlined in a November 20 speech.

The media has confusingly reported the documents Obama signed the following day while en route to Las Vegas as “presidential memoranda,” “executive actions,” and “executive orders.”

While gathering information for our November 25 article, The Post & Email checked the Federal Register and list of Executive Orders on the White House website, which contained nothing about changing immigration policy. We noted that the last executive order was signed on October 17 and published on October 23.  True Executive Orders must be entered into the Federal Register, which normally occurs 3-5 days after they are signed.

On the same day as our article went to press, Obama told a Chicago audience presumably supportive of his new proposals, “I’ve just taken action to change the law,” despite having denied that he possessed the authority to do so on 25 previous occasions, including when he denied being “the emperor of the United States.”

The U.S. Constitution establishes Congress as the only governmental body authorized to make or alter federal law.  White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest attempted to minimize Obama’s assertion by stating that he had been “speaking colloquially.”

In checking with White House Media Relations, spokesman Shawn Turner told The Post & Email in an email that as of November 25, Obama “took executive action in directing the Department of Homeland Security to update or implement changes related to our existing immigration system.  He did not issue an Executive Order establishing a new program or initiative.”

On Thursday, Dr. Jerome Corsi of WND revealed that two “presidential action” memos which were, in fact, entered into the Federal Register on November 26.  The declarations were published on the White House website on November 21 and dealt with expediting the visa process and establishing a “White House Task Force on New Americans.”

In the latter “presidential memorandum,” Obama refers to “refugees” and “immigrants” as “new Americans,” but many of them do not acquire U.S. citizenship for years after their arrival.  Some do not become citizens.  By definition, illegal aliens residing in the country are not considered “refugees.”

One of the anticipated roles of the proposed task force is to “improve long-term integration and foster welcoming community climates.”  Both memoranda contain the text, “This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.”

Before Obama’s announcement, Republicans had reportedly promised to “do whatever it takes” to prevent his plan from being implemented.  However, on Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions, who confirmed with the Congressional Research Services (CRS) that Congress could, in fact, prevent funding from flowing to implement Obama’s proposals, said that House Republicans have drafted wording expressing only “frustration” with the immigration changes rather than defunding them.

Johnson instructs ICE and Border Patrol to halt deportation proceedings for any individual who meets the new criteria set forth under his name but issued by Obama the same day

As Corsi noted, there is no executive order or presidential memorandum summarizing the policy changes Obama outlined in his November 20 speech.  Rather, the “prosecutorial discretion” Obama has called for has been ordered and justified by a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “memorandum” signed by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson on November 20, 2014.

In his memo, Johnson indicates that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative announced by Obama without congressional input in June 2012 will be expanded under which the majority of illegal aliens will be designated as low priority for “removal.”   He then instructs the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) to make many, if not all, of the changes Obama outlined in his November 20 address.

Johnson concludes his memo with:

This memorandum confers no substantive right, immigration status or pathway to citizenship. Only an Act of Congress can confer these rights. It remains within the authority of the Executive Branch, however, to set forth policy for the exercise of prosecutorial discretion and deferred action within the framework of existing law. This memorandum is an exercise of that authority.

USCIS terms Obama’s proposals “executive actions” with a highlighted note indicating that they have not yet been implemented.  However, on Wednesday The Washington Times reported:

Department of Homeland Security officials wasted little time in ramping up for President Obama’s amnesty, posting 1,000 job openings the day after his announcement and announcing it already has space for hundreds of employees at a new location in Arlington, Virginia — an indication that it had laid its plans well before Mr. Obama’s announcement.

And even though Mr. Obama said his policy is temporary, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is hiring the employees for permanent positions, at salaries of up to $157,000 a year, according to the job postings listed on the official federal jobs website.

Also on November 20, individuals residing in the U.S. hailing from the West African nations of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia were given “temporary protected status” resulting from the Ebola outbreak in those countries.  On September 26, Obama granted an extension of an existing deferral status for persons from Liberia.

On October 16, DHS extended temporary protected status (TPS) to “eligible” Nicaraguans residing in the country.

Congress has not approved any of the changes outlined on the USCIS website or the Johnson memorandum.  While Congress did not pass the DACA initiative, it did not take steps to defund it.

Congress is also aware that an image posted on the White House website purported to be Obama’s long-form birth certificate and his purported Selective Service registration form are “computer-generated forgeries” as declared by a criminal investigation spanning more than three years.

Former U.S. Justice Department prosecutor Atty. Larry Klayman believes that Obama himself is an illegal alien and has called for a hearing into his bona fides and deportation if his suspicion is proved correct.

Before Obama’s November 20 speech, many believed that he seeks to permanently change the demographics of the United States.  While campaigning in 2008, he promised to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.”

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