Examiner Editorial: White House provides back-door amnesty 

Congress demurred from taking up President Obama's immigration reform because voters were angry enough with Obamacare's passage. But a recently released memo from U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services officials reveals the contempt with which the administration holds these voters. Outlining ways in which the government can provide "relief" to illegal immigrants, the memo suggests delaying deportation for some (perhaps even indefinitely) or granting green cards to others. A spokesman for the agency told the Associated Press that this document shouldn't be "equated with official action or policy," and represented only "deliberation and exchange of ideas." But that's a hard sell: This memo has all the hallmarks of the administration's refusal to pursue its policy agenda in an open and democratic way.

The memo sheds light on why the Justice Department finds Arizona's immigration law so odious. The law, popularly passed by the state Legislature and signed into law by the governor, is an effort to address the flow of illegal immigrants into the state by allowing Arizona police officers to detain illegal immigrants. But the police are not empowered to deport the illegals -- instead, the detainees are referred to the federal government. This would create a record of the illegal immigrants the administration refuses to deport, making transparent the White House's efforts to undermine current immigration law.

The memo is clear on this point: The federal government can use "deferred action" at its discretion in halting a deportation indefinitely (usually for a humanitarian reason). "This would permit individuals for whom relief may become available in the future to live and work in the U.S. without fear of removal." But to do so would require justification and a paper trail, two things the administration has worked hard to avoid. The memo reveals as much: "While it is theoretically possible to grant deferred action to an unrestricted number of unlawfully present individuals, doing so would likely be controversial, not to mention expensive." It's controversial because it would attract attention, unlike other stealth measures proposed in the memo that could be implemented without alerting the public -- such as expanding the definition of "extreme hardship," which would enable virtually any illegal immigrant to qualify for an exemption from deportation.

There is one bright side to this scandal. If politicians continue to ignore the democratic process and the voters, the voters will use the democratic process to have their say in November.

Pin It

Speaking of Opinion

More by Examiner Editorial

Latest in Editorials

© 2019 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation