It’s no surprise that, as Heather noted below, the administration cooked the books to be able to say they had carried out a record number of deportations in FY2010 (or, as the Post headline delicately put it, “Unusual methods helped ICE break deportation record, e-mails and interviews show”). Of course, the increase over the prior year was minuscule, but so long as one more person could be listed as having been “removed” from the country, that was enough. The Post reported back in March that, “Seeking to reverse a steep drop in deportations, U.S. immigration authorities have set controversial new quotas for agents.” It’s kind of like an NPR begathon: “We need 10 new members to call in the next five minutes!”
Anyway, the deportation kabuki was intended to both help with the midterms and provide enforcement street cred to help the White House make a case for amnesty. But that’s all so indirect. An increasing number of amnesty advocates are seeking to cut out the whole “consent of the governed” nonsense and are calling on Janet Napolitano to simply legalize all Mexican illegals by fiat, through the vehicle of Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
She has the statutory authority to give this “temporary” status to the 6.5 to 7 million Mexican illegal aliens based on armed conflict in their homeland, allowing them to get Employment Authorization Documents and Social Security numbers.
The temporary nature of TPS is, of course, a sham. As I wrote more than a decade ago:
Forty years of experience have shown that “temporary” protection almost always results in permanent settlement. Whatever the theoretical benefits of temporary protection, it is clear that in the real world there is nothing as permanent as a temporary refugee.
Illegal aliens from Liberia got TPS in 1991 because of armed conflict back home, and they’re still here, even though the war there ended seven years ago.
As I said to the Houston Chronicle reporter, if the administration did grant TPS to Mexican illegals, the president could well face impeachment charges. But given their go-for-broke approach to Obamacare and their apparent unwillingness to be schooled by experience (or maybe a bet that the Senate would acquit in an impeachment trial, at least for the next two years), it’s not impossible that the administration could seek to create facts on the ground that a subsequent Republican administration would find it hard to undo. Though a more distant threat than the DREAM Act (which could be voted on in one or both houses this week), a unilateral grant of mass amnesty by the president would be a worse nightmare.