Tags: Barack Obama | Immigration | immigration | illegal | waiver | dhs | executive action

Obama Plans New Executive Action to Keep Illegals in US

Image: Obama Plans New Executive Action to Keep Illegals in US
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 23 Jul 2015 01:42 PM

The Obama administration is planning to expand a waiver program, a move that would allow even more illegal immigrants to gain legal status.

This expansion is part of the executive action on immigration enacted by President Barack Obama in 2013, which created a waiver program that illegal immigrants could participate in if they had a spouse or parent who is a U.S. citizen. Under the 2013 action, such illegals could stay — rather than leave the country and be barred from returning for between three and 10 years — if they could prove that leaving would result in an "extreme hardship" for the citizen, The Washington Free Beacon is reporting.

The Department of Homeland Security this week proposed a rule that makes changes to the program by expanding the criteria illegal immigrants could use to stay in the country beyond spouses and parents.

"DHS proposes to expand the class of aliens who may be eligible for a provisional waiver beyond immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to aliens in all statutorily eligible immigrant visa categories," the proposal states.

"Such aliens include family-sponsored immigrants, employment-based immigrants, certain special immigrants, and Diversity Visa program selectees, together with their derivative spouses and children," it adds.

The waivers protect illegal immigrants from being deported while they wait for visas, and from the  multiple-year ban from returning to the country for coming into the United States illegally.

Under federal law, if an immigrant comes into the United States and stays for less than one year, they are banned from returning for three years. If they stay longer than a year, then they aren't supposed to be allowed back in the country for 10 years. Under the waiver program, illegal immigrants can avoid these penalties.

The DHS proposal is now pending a 60-day public comment period, the Beacon reports.

"It’s a very bad policy," Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, told the Beacon. "It makes it possible for illegal aliens to avoid the consequences established by Congress to deter people from settling here illegally and then laundering their status by adjusting to a green card.”

Vaughan says the proposed rule changes will only increase fraud.

"It is a slap in the face to the many legal immigrants who abide by the law, follow the process, and wait their turn," she said. "In addition, it will increase the likelihood of fraud in the marriage categories, which produce tens of thousands of new green cards each year."

DHS said that it has "broad authority" to propose the rule under the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

A second executive action on immigration by Obama, enacted in 2014 and granting an estimated 4.7 million illegals relief from deportation, is currently being challenged in court by 26 states.

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The Obama administration is planning to expand a waiver program, a move that would allow even more illegal immigrants to gain legal status.
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2015-42-23
Thursday, 23 Jul 2015 01:42 PM
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