The Corner

Now with 25 Percent More Amnesty!

The administration’s semi-official immigration think tank, the Migration Policy Institute, has increased its estimate of the number of illegal aliens expected to apply for the president’s illegal amnesty scheme by 25 percent, to 1.75 million. And it’s got a name now: DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (it’s for the children, don’t you know).

The estimates were originally 800,000, so the amnesty is now more than double what we were originally told. The reason for the latest increase? As my colleague David North reports, the newly announced rules for the amnesty don’t require applicants to have completed any schooling at all; they just need to have signed up at some kind of educational institution at the time of application. What’s more, there’s nothing in the rules that requires the amnestied illegal alien — with his new work card and Social Security number in hand — to actually finish his studies or even attend a single class.

Oh, and you know how it was reported that the amnesty would cost each applicant $465? That’s not strictly correct. The amnesty is free — no charge at all. That’s the “deferred action” part, where the feds decide they’ll ignore you for the next two years. The fees are for the Employment Authorization Document (i.e., a work card), which costs $380 to apply for, and fingerprinting, which is $85. These fees aren’t specific to the illegals covered by the president’s amnesty — they’re paid by any number of legal residents or temporary workers all the time.

This isn’t splitting hairs; while the work card is obviously what the illegal aliens in question most prize, processing the deferred action applications (upon which the work card depends — the illegal can’t get it if he isn’t granted deferred action) will consume a significant amount of resources. And this is a problem because, as my colleague Jessica Vaughan notes, federal law “requires the immigration agency to set fees for the services and benefits that it dispenses and stipulates that the fees must cover the entire cost of providing the benefit.”

But I can’t imagine the White House cares if the funding arrangements are illegal — the whole scheme is unconstitutional in the first place.

Applications will be accepted starting August 15.

Mark Krikorian — Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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