The president’s plan to delay the deportation of as many as 5 million illegal aliens through memos issued by appointees moved ahead Tuesday when the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the extension of a program allowing spouses of certain visa holders to obtain work permits.
According to the Washington Times, the move will, in 90 days, allow some 180,000 immigrants to be eligible for the benefit “in the first year.”
“Allowing the spouses of these visa holders to legally work in the United States makes perfect sense,” the newspaper quoted agency chief Leon Rodriguez saying. “It helps U.S. businesses keep their highly skilled workers by increasing the chances these workers will choose to stay in this country during the transition from temporary workers to permanent residents.”
At virtually the same time, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, who a week ago ordered federal agencies to stop implementation of the Obama amnesty plan, told plaintiffs in the lawsuit they have until March 3 to provide any additional arguments regarding the government’s request that he reverse his decision.
The order from Hanen came Tuesday in light of the federal government’s emergency motion that seeks permission for the amnesty program to move forward immediately.
Meanwhile, amid a clash with Congress over whether or not executive amnesty should receive funding in the Department of Homeland Security budget, Obama held a closed-door White House meeting with “immigration advocacy leaders” Wednesday morning, the White House announced. Later Wednesday, Obama will hold an immigration townhall in Miami.
Also, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., according to the Hill, said Wednesday that Obama is eying a partial launch of his new deportation-relief programs in the states not involved in the lawsuit by 26 states, led by Texas.
The lawsuit was filed when the states suddenly faced massive new demands for public services such as schooling and health care from foreigners who previously had been subject to deportation.
Hanen granted a preliminary injunction that prevents the government from enforcing the Obama administration’s immigration orders. The ruling also confirmed WND’s exclusive report that contrary to popular perception, the order to delay deportation was not an executive order by the president. Instead, it was a memorandum issued by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson at Obama’s direction.
Judicial Watch said it had a source inside the industry of government contracts who said there is “no indication that the court order has impacted, slowed down or modified the procurement in any way.”
“They’re really rushing into it,” the source said.
The deal is immense, Judicial Watch said, with an estimated need for between 200 and 600 contractors.
The government solicitation described itself as a “combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial services prepared in accordance with the format in FAR Subpart 12.6, as supplemented with additional information included in this notice.”
“This announcement constitutes the only solicitation and proposals are being requested. Attached to this combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial services is a request for proposal with proposals due on February 20, 2015. This combined synopsis/solicitation is for records support services in support of deferred action for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (hereafter referred to as DAPA). Industry is encouraged to review the request for proposal and ask questions by January 30, 2015. USCIS intends to award a contract from this solicitation in March 2015 in order to provide the awardee time to hire, train, and process security clearances; and for full performance to commence on May 19, 2015.”
It describes how Obama announced his plan for executive action on deferred action for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents on Nov. 20, 2014.
Judicial Watch said that though a federal court “has blocked President Obama’s amnesty order, the administration continues working behind the scenes to quickly award multi-million-dollar contracts to firms that can expeditiously process millions of illegal immigrants, a government source has alerted Judicial Watch.”
“The complex deal is being rushed through at a ‘full-throttle pace’ extremely rare for such a huge venture that’s sure to radically change the current system, according to JW’s source, who has worked for decades as a contract expert at the highest levels of government.
“The pricing spreadsheets are astounding and list tens of thousands of work hours – for tasks such as program management, file operations and maintenance as well as Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) scanning – that will undoubtedly end up costing American taxpayers enormous sums. The contractor that lands this monstrous government deal must also be able to respond on short notice to growth in volume due to urgent events and requirements,” JW reported.
Judicial Watch said the administration “appears to have no intention of slowing down while the Justice Department drafts an appeal.”
“JW’s government source confirms that, even after the court ruling, DHS is moving forward with its plan to seal large contracts with companies that will process millions of illegal immigrants as soon as possible,” the report said.
The Times report Wednesday noted Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., described the administration’s latest move as “another program that has not been authorized by law.”
“There’s been no sense at all by President Obama, the Department of Home Security [Secretary] Jeh Johnson, the Democratic members of this Congress, no concern about the employment prospects of lawful immigrants, green card holders and native-born Americans,” Sessions told the Times. “The first thing we should do is be focusing on getting jobs for Americans that are unemployed. Are we going to keep Americans on welfare and benefits while we bring in more and more foreigners to take jobs when we’ve got Americans ready and willing to take those jobs?”
Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also raised the issue of compliance with the court order, the newspaper said.
“Violating an unambiguous federal court order by defying its instructions to cease and desist a particular activity would represent a significant breach of your authority, and would be an escalation in abuse of our separation of powers,” Cruz wrote to administration officials. “For a president and his cabinet to telegraph intent to violate a federal court order requires additional scrutiny from Congress.”
But administration officials were unabashed in their intent.
The Times said Cecilia Munoz, White House domestic policy director, addressed the issue: “It’s important to put [Hanen’s order] in context, because the broader executive actions are moving forward. The administration continues to implement the portions of the actions that the president and the Department of Homeland Security took, which were not affected by the court’s ruling.”
But Hanen’s order said: “The United States of America, its departments, agencies, officers, agents and employees and Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of United States customs and Border Protection; Ronald D. Vitiello, deputy chief of United States Border Patrol, United States Customs and Border Protection; Thomas S. Winkowski, acting director of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Leon Rodriguez, director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services are hereby enjoined from implementing any and all aspects or phases of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.”
The outline of plans was “set out in the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson’s memorandum dated November 20, 2014.”
And even Obama himself said he couldn’t do it alone.
House Speaker John Boehner has listed online 22 times when Obama has made such statements.
For example, in October 2010, Obama said: “I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself. … I’ve got to have some partners to do it. … If Congress has laws on the books that says that people who are here who are not documented have to be deported, then I can exercise some flexibility in terms of where we deploy our resources, to focus on people who are really causing problems as opposed to families who are just trying to work and support themselves. But there’s a limit to the discretion that I can show because I am obliged to execute the law. … I can’t just make the laws up by myself.”
Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano said unless an appeals court intervenes in the case, Obama’s amnesty program likely will fail.
He commented on the government’s request for that intervention.
“They basically said the government will be irreparably harmed if you don’t lift this injunction because we need to provide a service to the illegal aliens we promised we would help.”
Napolitano said the government “wants to break the law so it can help other lawbreakers stay here.”
Another case against Obama’s amnesty is under way. The filing by attorney Larry Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch, is on behalf of Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The case was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, who thought the dispute over whether a president can arbitrarily change federal laws was a political matter between branches of government.
It now is before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the government’s arguments are due soon on an accelerated scheduled imposed by the court.
WND also reported when yet another a federal judge in Pennsylvania declared the amnesty unconstitutional.
“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause and, therefore, is unconstitutional,” said U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
The judge noted Obama “contended that although legislation is the most appropriate course of action to solve the immigration debate, his executive action was necessary because of Congress’ failure to pass legislation, acceptable to him, in this regard.”
“This proposition is arbitrary and does not negate the requirement that the November 20, 2014, executive action be lawfully within the president’s executive authority,” the judge wrote. “It is not.”
Quoting from a previous precedent, the judge said that in the “framework of our Constitution, the president’s power to see that the laws are faithfully executed refutes the idea that he is to be a lawmaker.”
“The Constitution limits his functions in the lawmaking process to the recommending of laws he thinks wise and the vetoing of laws he thinks bad,” Schwab said.