The Corner

Obama’s Illegal Amnesty Continues

DHS has released the latest numbers from the president’s illegal “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) amnesty, its DREAM Act by fiat. During its first four months, through last Thursday, about 368,000 applications had been received, and about 103,000 illegal immigrants have been amnestied, allowing them to get a work card and a (legitimate) Social Security number. The applications are coming in at an average rate of 4,400 a day. At this point, for Congress to pass some version of the DREAM Act would be a post hoc legitimation of the president’s unconstitutional act. Even though I’m for legalizing illegal-alien kids who came here at very young ages, with certain provisos, politically I wonder if it might make sense for Republicans to simply point out that this most sympathetic group of illegal aliens is already being amnestied, and there’s no doubt whatsoever that this administration will just keep renewing their status indefinitely, so there’s no real rush to do anything more.

As you can imagine, this amnesty is being run no more tightly than the prior one enacted in 1986. For instance, one of the 368,000 applicants was Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, the visa-overstaying registered sex offender who worked as an intern in Democrat senator Bob Menendez’s office. It’s not clear that his arrest was the result of his amnesty application; the AP says only that “Authorities in Hudson County notified ICE agents in early October that they suspected Sanchez was an illegal immigrant who was a registered sex offender and who may be eligible to be deported.” Even then, ICE field agents were repeatedly told by headquarters not to arrest him until after the election. Before that came to light, one of my staff asked ICE officials how many applicants had been referred to ICE by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the bureau within DHS handling the amnesty) for arrest based on information in their applications. The answer was something to the effect of “None — why would they do that?”

Another indication of the amnesty’s lax standards: A source on the Hill tells me that a suspiciously large number of amnesty applicants claim to have been home-schooled, as a way of explaining the lack of school records that would prove their arrival in the U.S. before their 16th birthday. According to the Department of Education, only 1.5 percent of Hispanic kids are home-schooled, less than half the rate among non-Hispanic whites (and I’d suspect homeschooling is more prevalent among native-born Americans rather than immigrants, whatever their ethnicity). This is germane since the statistics show that at least 84 percent of DACA amnesty applicants are from Latin America, with 70 percent of the total from Mexico alone. And yet it’s not clear that anyone among the 368,000 applicants so far has actually been turned down (other than Senator Menendez’s sex-offender intern). The number of applications reported as “rejected” by USCIS are simply those lacking the right forms or fees — they won’t say how many have been rejected on the merits (if any).

And this is the administration that Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, Richard Land, and Rupert Murdoch want to handle an amnesty for all 11–12 million illegal aliens.

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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