“RIDERS” HALTING “AMNESTY” SUBJECT OF CONTENTION
by Sharon Rondeau
Appropriations for DHS were not included in the “CROmnibus” spending bill passed in December, and current funding expires on February 27.
DHS was created by legislation passed by Congress in 2002 following the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001 and signed into law by President George W. Bush.
On January 14, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 240, which would fully fund DHS, and also approved five amendments to void Obama’s declared “executive actions” allowing millions of illegal aliens to be spared the threat of deportation for at least a five-year period.
On November 20, Obama gave a speech in which he said his edicts, issued without a congressional vote, would make the U.S. immigration system more “fair” by issuing work permits to illegals who met certain conditions.
Plans to allow more illegals to avoid deportation under existing federal law have been a cornerstone of the Obama regime and many Democrats in Congress. In June 2012, Obama announced a program designed to allow illegals aged 30 and under who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents years ago to allow in the country if they did not have a serious criminal record.
Obama’s new plan includes deportation relief for relatives of accepted applicants to DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which was renewed last year and funded by Congress.
On at least 22 previous occasions, Obama had stated publicly that he alone did not possess the constitutional authority to issue changes to immigration law, but on November 20, he insisted that he was acting within constitutional limits.
Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution assigns legislative duties to Congress, not the executive branch of government, of which the president and commander-in-chief is the head.
Senate Democrats last week asked Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to remove the immigration amendments passed by the House last month, characterizing them as “divisive” and a possible obstacle to funding the conglomerate agency, citing recent Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris, Australia and Ottawa, Canada.
The Obama regime does not characterize the aforementioned attacks, all of which were fatal, as having been caused by “radical Islam.”
A memo dated November 20, the same day as Obama’s speech, initialed by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson “directed” DHS subsidiaries to review deportation proceedings already in progress and refrain from initiating new deportations for newly-apprehended illegals except for the most hardened, convicted criminals. The memo claims that the “Department-wide guidance” resulted from “limited resources” provided by Congress.
In 2013, the Obama regime released more than 36,000 criminal illegal aliens into American neighborhoods unbeknownst to U.S. citizens, many of whom had been convicted of rape, kidnapping, car theft, homicide, and assault.
The question of whether or not the decision to release them amounted to an “impeachable offense” was raised after it became public.
On Monday, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a report based on documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency (USCIS), a subsidiary of DHS, which show that the Obama regime has been operating a “shadow immigration system” in which 5.5 million illegals or those otherwise not authorized to work received work permits.
CIS Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughn wrote in her report, in part:
These statistics indicate that the executive branch is operating a huge parallel immigrant work authorization system outside the bounds of the laws and limits written by Congress. It inevitably reduces job opportunities for Americans. In addition, allowing work permits to be issued to illegal aliens and temporary visitors damages the integrity of the legal immigration system and encourages illegal immigration. Congress has an opportunity this week to prevent the issuance of the next five million work permits if it votes to withhold funds for USCIS to implement President Obama’s executive action plans.
On Tuesday, Fox News Business anchor Lou Dobbs interviewed Vaughn about the findings, in response to which Vaughn said that “there is no incentive” for aliens to “come legally” under the system the Obama regime has been utilizing since 2009.
Vaughn testified to Congress at this time last year and will do so again today to the House Judiciary Committee. In her testimony last year, Vaughn said that while “Southwest border apprehensions” had increased, court proceedings for illegal aliens had decreased 25% that year and 30% “since 2009.”
On the Senate floor this morning, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) opined on the topic of immigration:
The Supreme Court has said many times there is nothing that Congress has more clear, straightforward powers regarding than immigration policy, and it certainly includes anything like a major amnesty. And what the president did in December is not filling in the blanks of statutory law, not executing statutory law. It is acting completely contradictory to statutory law. Statutory law is clear. It’s on the book. It is clear that folks who enter the country illegally, break the law, are here illegally, are subject to removal and cannot work in the country legally. In contrast to that clear statutory law, President Obama first is giving them authorization to stay here for at least three years and that can be renewed. And secondly, he’s handing them a document that he’s making up out of thin air called work permit, giving them authority to work even though that is clearly contrary to statutory law given the means by which they entered the country. So we need to put that issue, that topic directly on the Senate floor and debate and act on that as well. As I suggested, the only way we do any of that is take a first responsible vote and put the House spending bill on the Senate floor.
On the same subject, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) said:
I cannot understand the mentality of some on the other side of the aisle who are so hateful when it comes to these young idealistic, amazing young people. Some of the things they’ve said about these dreamers are really sad. I’ve had a chance to meet them, and I’m going to continue to work for them. So let’s do this. Let’s pass a clean Department of Homeland Security bill. What does that mean? Take off the riders. Take off the political extraneous things. Let’s pass the bill to fund the department that keeps America safe, and then turn to the majority party, the Republican majority party, and say now accept your responsibility. If you want to debate immigration, bring it to the floor of the Senate. Bring it to the floor of the House. It’s within your power to do it. Don’t hold the Department of Homeland Security hostage. And, please, when you consider about the future of immigration in America, don’t forget we are a nation of immigrants. And that immigrant stock has made this the greatest country on Earth, if I can say. Let’s continue that tradition.