End Run

BY GIL POTTS

Earlier this week multiple news sources uncovered what some law makers are calling a potential end run around current immigration laws by the Obama administration.

In a move that suggests a future executive action on American immigration policy, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) stated it will look for a vendor with the abilities to supply millions of blank work authorization and residency permits. 

The USCIS posted a draft solicitation document earlier this month announcing the first step in the procurement process to purchase an estimated 4 million cards annually and the possibility of as many as 34 million cards total. 

“The objective of this procurement is to provide card consumables for the Document Management Division (DMD) that will be used to produce Permanent Resident Cards (PRC) and Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) cards,” the solicitation reads. The vendor selected must be able to produce as many as 9 million cards on short notice “to support possible future immigration-reform initiative requirements.” 

If the vendor were to produce that many new cards over the life of the contract, it would represent as much as a 10-percent increase in the population of the United States.

Jessica Vaughan, of the Center for Immigration Studies said the document “seems to indicate that the president is contemplating an enormous executive action that is even more expansive than the plan that Congress rejected” a little more than a year ago.

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security, through an executive action taken by President Obama, announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. 

They are also eligible for work authorization. Under this plan, immigrants can acquire Permanent Resident Cards and earn EAD cards enabling them to work within the United States. The program, which has not been authorized by congress, is referred to as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
As Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) explained in June of 2013, “The President does not have the authority to waive immigration law, nor does he have the authority to create it out of thin air.” 

With comprehensive immigration reform stalled in Congress, it’s anticipated the President will again announce significant changes to US policy after the midterm elections in November. Without action by Congress, an expansion of the DACA program is seen as most likely, perhaps with an attempt to cover parents of US citizens and/or those working in agriculture.

Most Americans it appears, are solidly against this. A recent Gallup survey determined that 74 percent of Americans want the level of immigration to be reduced, or stay at the current level. 

Neither President Barack Obama nor his administration has announced any plans that indicate the need for such an advertisement to print the new cards. However, on Friday, the administration did announce their latest executive action bringing tens of thousands of new Haitian immigrants to the United States as part of a new family reunification program. 

According to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, more than 109,000 Haitians will be brought to the U.S. and legally allowed to apply for work permits under the President’s plan, which is “An irresponsible overreach of the executive branch’s authority.”

It’s called the “Haitian Family Reunification Parole” and while some have praised the Obama administration for taking this step, Grassley argued, “There are too many questions left unanswered.  Which countries are next on President Obama’s list?  Will there by medical screenings before entry?  Will work permits be granted automatically?  How will this affect American workers?”

“The President’s continued push to circumvent Congressional authority and ignore the rule of law sets a bad precedent for the future,” Grassley added.

As the recent influx of families and minor children revealed earlier this summer, rumors of amnesty travels fast. Rewarding those who have cheated the system by entering the country illegally creates an incentive to millions more to hurry north while the gates are open. It’s a potential disaster in the making for public health and national security. 

Today, health concerns are a very relevant and valid concern to uncontrolled immigration, which this administration almost appears to be sponsoring. More than ever, our borders merit close protection. The threat of infectious diseases such as Ebola infiltrating our borders is probably more real than any other threat we may be facing.
The strategically located inland border check points such as the one on I-10 at Sierra Blanca, have proven effective in deterring human and narcotic trafficking, but preventing the inland migration of infected individuals may be next to impossible. Last summer’s huge influx of South American children didn’t bother trying to get pass the border patrol, because they didn’t have to. The word was out, “They won’t send you back.”

Now, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture, news reports in Central America encourage the northern flight. Channel 5 News in McAllen reports the message being disseminated in Central America is, “go to America with your child, you won’t be turned away.” But one of the things the Central America news reports are not talking about is the number of deaths occurring along the way. And it doesn’t necessarily end at the border.

According to Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), “Local gang members operating in Falfurrias grab up illegal immigrants they find on the roadways or in the ranches of Brooks County.  They hold them hostage and then call the families of the illegal immigrants demanding a ransom payment to secure their family members release.” After paying the ransom, the illegal immigrants are often dropped off south of the Border Patrol check point where they may spend another two to three days hiking through the desert in order to bypass the Border Patrol agents.

Although some don’t make it, a very lucky Honduran woman was rescued from an almost certain death last week by members of the Texas State Guard while they were assisting the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office, who were actually searching for the bodies of illegal immigrants who weren’t so fortunate. 

Sheriff Rey Rodriquez, explains that Brooks County is the poorest county in Texas, and the second poorest county in the United States. Congressman Poe has vowed to help Brooks County overcome the   enormous burden the county has been saddled with due to our failed border security policies. “We have to figure out how to get money to Brooks County,” Poe asserted.