With some lawmakers predicting a sweeping executive order on immigration
from President Barack Obama after the Nov. 4 elections, one federal agency is already making plans to hire a vendor to crank out up to 34 million blank green cards to accommodate an expected surge in immigrants in 2016.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published a draft solicitation
for a contractor capable of producing 4 million cards a year for five years — and 9 million in the early stages — that would allow immigrants to live and work in the country, Breitbart reports
One estimate suggests 34 million cards will be printed in total.
An official from the government agency told MailOnline
on Monday a plan was developed "in case the president makes the move we think he will," even though the agency's Document Management Division isn't yet committing to buying the materials.
Another official cautioned the plan was only a "contingency" in case immigration reform legislation passes in Congress, stressing to MailOnline
it wasn't in anticipation of an Obama executive order.
The president was rebuffed
by Congress to enact immigration reform — which Republicans have decried as an "amnesty" for millions of illegal immigrants
, including hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied minors who poured into the United States
through the southern border with Mexico this summer – and has vowed to go it alone.
The executive action's timetable has since shifted to after the crucial midterm elections.
The latest draft solicitation "seems to indicate that the president is contemplating an enormous executive action that is even more expansive than the plan that Congress rejected in the 'Gang of Eight' bill," Jessica Vaughn, an immigration expert at the Center for Immigration Studies, told Breitbart.
The green cards – officially known as Permanent Residency Cards – and Employment Authorization Documentation cards are used for participants in Obama's controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Known as "DREAMers," the program's participants came to the United States illegally as children.
A total of 862,000 people have been approved for such documentation by USCIS through June.
But according to the draft solicitation, "the guaranteed minimum for each ordering period is 4,000,000 cards. ... The estimated maximum for the entire contract is 34,000,000 cards."
On CNN's "Inside Politics" Monday, moderator John King said he unilateral executive action promised by Obama for after the midterm elections will kick off confrontation, not compromise, from Republicans driven by anger and frustration in their conservative grass-roots voter base.
"Well, if you believed perhaps there would be room and motivation for a deal after the 2014 midterms — think again," King said.
"I was so struck by conversations in Colorado, in Kansas and Iowa — just pure frustration; a belief among conservative Republicans that this problem is getting worse.
"What does that tell you? It tells you there is no prospect for any compromise legislation during the final two years of the Obama presidency," King said.
"If the president uses his executive power as promised, Republicans will be pushing the grass-roots for confrontation, not compromise. An issue we thought after 2014 Republicans would try to deal with, will be with us until 2016 and beyond."
There is little doubt that Obama is determined to take action.
"There appears to be little political space for House Speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, who could well be majority leader in January, to negotiate any deal that would be acceptable to Obama," CNN reports.
"When the president takes executive actions, as he promises to do after the election unless there is some legislative breakthrough, it is clear the conservative grass-roots will demand confrontation, leaving the issue front and center as we head into the 2016 presidential cycle."
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