The nation should have learned by now to question White House maneuvers that bypass the constitutional powers of Congress. The Legislative Branch may be busy drafting immigration reform legislation, and the Senate-proposed bill may have Obama support, but critics are comparing the bill to Swiss cheese — full of holes.
Meanwhile, the Executive Branch is bestowing “legalization” on foreign nationals without congressional approval. John Morton, Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is “legalizing” millions of undocumented aliens. The DHS is documenting the undocumented in disregard of the immigration issues being debated in Congress, such as national sovereignty and public health.
Back on June 17, 2011, Morton issued a memorandum entitled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion Consistent with the Civil Immigration Enforcement Priorities of the Agency for the Apprehension, Detention, and Removal of Aliens.” This memorandum gave bureaucrats power to grant “legalization” to illegal aliens.
Then on June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama, from the Rose Garden, announced that “deferred deportation” would be offered to undocumented young people brought to the United States by their parents. Bypassing Congress, this granted foreign nationals a work permit and two years to apply for “legalization” to remain in the United States.
DHS memoranda thus are effectuating “back-door amnesty” and creating a political-appointee authority that usurps that of Congress. On May 4, 2013, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the Obama administration is considering as many as 23 executive actions that would permit the president to further bypass Congress. What Obama cannot achieve by legislation, he is getting by Executive Order (EO) or bureaucratic fiat (departmental regulations, orders, or directives issued by political appointees).
The immigration reform bills evolving in both chambers of Congress have gained national attention due in part to the Boston Marathon bombing. On May 5, 2013, two of the nation’s leading newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post, carried stories on immigration reform.
The Times story featured the interest of high-tech businesses in immigration legislation provisions that would permit hiring thousands of foreign STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) workers for jobs that U.S.-educated students cannot fill.
According to the Times, “The companies often learned about detailed provisions even before all the members of the so-called Gang of Eight senators who worked out the package were informed. Now, along with other industry heavyweights, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the technology companies are trying to make sure the bill gets passed.”
The reporters noted that high-tech companies are sponsoring a new lobbying group, Americans for Conservative Direction, composed mostly of Silicon Valley Democrats.
Back in 2011, President Obama stated that America needs 10,000 STEM teachers to ensure enough STEM graduates for the high-tech workforce. He failed to explain how the nation would reach this number, since the public school system is broken and some high school graduates are functional illiterates.
The Washington Examiner on May 3 reported that the once elite Montgomery County, Md., now has six out of 10 high school students failing exams in algebra and geometry. Among pre-calculus students, 48 percent are failing. The nation thus welcomes STEM professionals from other nations, but recent events, such as the Boston bombing, show that the welcome mat should not be out for all foreign nationals.
On May 5, a Washington Post article by Greg Miller and Sari Horwitz was headlined, “Bombings have shown limits of security system.” They reported that the Russian security service passed by hand to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Moscow on March 4, 2011, a letter containing a vague warning that a mother and her son who emigrated from Russia to the United States had turned to radical Islam.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 24 at the time, was identified as a “militant.” According to the Post, the Russian tip bounced about the U.S. counterterrorism system for 16 months.
The Tsarnaevs, who were granted asylum in the United States due to alleged persecution in their homeland, somehow traveled back and forth. How and why are persons here under such circumstances freely returning to their homeland — where they allegedly were persecuted?
Obama administration officials admit that their efforts are not “fool-proof.” For instance, in testimony on May 9 before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, the FBI admitted failing to alert the Boston police about Tamerlan.
In respect for those murdered and maimed in Boston, federal officials who enabled the Tsarnaev family must be held accountable for their omissions and commissions. The bombing mandates that immigration reform must require detailed background checks on all beneficiaries of immigration legislation — immigrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, visa applicants, and family-unity applicants, among other safeguards.
A May 7 Gallup poll, however, shows that the American people rank immigration 12th in order of priority for congressional action — thus enabling the White House to continue ignoring the separation of powers.
James H. Walsh was associate general counsel with the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1983 to 1994. Read more reports from James Walsh — Click Here Now.
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