One of the ways the pro-illegal immigration faction seeks to advance their goal is the Dream Act.
The DREAM Act (acronym for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) is a proposed piece of legislation that would provide conditional permanent residency to certain illegal and deportable alien students.
Estimates of the number of alien students who could benefit under the Act range from 7,000–13,000 to over 2 million. Those numbers, however, are deceptive because once the illegal alien student gains U.S. citizenship, s/he can then apply for citizenship for his/her family.
The DREAM Act was first introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001, and reintroduced on May 11, 2011. But the Obama administration isn’t waiting for Congress to act. Instead, Obama is (mis)using his executive powers to effectuate a de facto DREAM Act via an administrative rule — a memo by the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to ICE agents to not deport illegal aliens who would qualify for amnesty under the DREAM Act.
Who needs three branches of government? What did those white fuddy-duddy Founding Fathers know? Ha!
All hail King Obama!
P.S. Even ICE agents think this is all wrong. Last year, ICE union officials issued a unanimous no confidence vote in ICE Director John Morton, citing gross mismanagement within the Agency as well as efforts within ICE to create backdoor amnesty through agency policy. Today, almost one year later, the law enforcement agents and their union haven’t changed their minds.
H/t beloved fellow Tina.
Federation for American Immigration Reform, June 27, 2011
In a calculated move to bypass Congress, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton issued a memo on June 17th to all ICE Field Office Directors, Special Agents in Charge, and all Chief Counsel, authorizing them to decline to remove illegal aliens who meet the qualifications for amnesty under the DREAM Act. (Memo from John Morton to ICE personnel, June 17, 2011)
In the June 17th memo, Director Morton couches this administrative amnesty as merely providing “guidance on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion to ensure that the agency’s immigration enforcement resources are focused on the agency’s enforcement priorities.” (Id. at pg 2; see also Memo from John Morton, Mar. 2, 2011) “The agency,” Morton writes, “must regularly exercise ‘prosecutorial discretion’ if it is to prioritize its efforts.” It then provides an extensive, but non-exclusive, factors ICE officers, agents, and attorneys should consider when determining whether to pursue the removal of an illegal alien. (Memo from John Morton to ICE personnel, June 17, 2011) The factors falling under the purview of the DREAM Act include:
- The circumstances of the person’s arrival in the U.S. and the manner of his or her entry, particularly if the alien came to the U.S. as a young child;
- The alien’s pursuit of education in the U.S., with particular consideration given to those who have graduated from a U.S. high school or have successfully pursued or are pursuing a college or advanced degrees at a legitimate institution of higher education in the U.S.;
- Whether the person has served in the U.S. military, reserves, or national guard, with particular consideration given to those who served in combat; and
- The person’s age, with particular consideration given to minors.
(Id. at pg 4) The memo also lists individuals present in the U.S. since childhood, minors and elderly individuals, and veterans and members of the U.S. armed forces as “positive factors” prompting particular care and consideration. (Id. at pg 5)
ICE agents are already heeding the memo’s directives. Less than a week after Director Morton issued the memo, ICE agents released University of California-Davis student Mandeep Chahal and her mother, even after the Board of Immigration Appeals ordered them removed to India. (Contra Costa Times, June 22, 2011) The Chahals’ attorney, Kalpana Peddibhotla, cited the Morton memo as the reason for her clients’ reprieve. (Id.) “I am pretty certain if that hadn’t happened, they would be sitting on a plane tonight,” Peddibhotla said. (Id.)
Leaders of the National ICE Council, a union which represents roughly 7,000 ICE agents, officers, and employees, were outraged by the memo and its implications. “Any American concerned about immigration needs to brace themselves for what’s coming,” announced Council President Chris Crane in a press release. (National ICE Council Press Release, June 23, 2011) “Unable to pass its immigration agenda through legislation, the [Obama] Administration is now implementing it through agency policy.” (Id.) The Council also charges that ICE officials worked “hand-in-hand” with the open-borders lobby, but excluded its own officers from the process of developing policies. (Id.)
Members of Congress are also alarmed by the Obama Administration’s attempt to circumvent the law. Earlier this month the House of Representatives passed an amendment introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) to the Homeland Security (DHS) fiscal year 2012 appropriations bill (H.R. 2017), which, if passed by the Senate, would in part override the Morton memo by barring DHS funds from being used to grant parole or deferred action (both forms of prosecutorial discretion) to most aliens subject to final orders of removal. The DHS bill is currently awaiting action by the Senate Committee on Appropriations. House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) is also expected to introduce legislation that would place more sweeping restrictions the Administration’s ability to grant parole, deferred action, or temporary protected status.