The Corner

The Wages of Amnesty, Pt. 1

Critics of the president’s illegal DREAM amnesty (known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA) warned that it would create backlogs for legal immigrants. As the result of administrative fiat in 2012 rather than actual, you know, law, no funds could be appropriated to run it, meaning immigration officers who would otherwise be processing legal immigration paperwork were pulled off that and assigned to amnestying the 500,000-plus illegal aliens who claim to have arrived before their 16th birthday. The New York Times reported earlier this year that, indeed, 500,000 immediate relatives of U.S. citizens were stuck in the pipeline, experiencing double or triple the usual wait time abroad because of the diversion of resources caused by the president’s unilateral action.

Now we see this fallout from DACA in the statistics. DHS has just released its report on legal immigration numbers for FY 2013 and, sure enough, it shows a big drop in the number of green cards issued to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. In fact, the decline in the immediate relative category of about 40,000 accounts for the entire reduction in 2013 legal immigration compared to the prior year (from 1.03 million to 990,000). There was no drop in green cards in the extended family categories (which should all be eliminated), nor in the employment categories (most of which are bogus), nor even in the egregiously stupid visa lottery. But the number of green cards issued to the foreign husbands, wives, and little kids of American citizens went down.

More specifically, the number of spouses admitted dropped 9 percent and the number of minor children dropped 12 percent (this is mainly the minor children from prior relationships of foreign women marrying U.S. citizens, plus the relatively small number of international adoptions). Parents of adult citizens, the one part of the immediate relative category that should be eliminated, was also the one with the smallest drop, 4 percent.

So, Obama has sacrificed the morally most compelling category of legal immigrants, one that everybody supports — husbands, wives, and little kids of Americans — to implement an illegal-alien amnesty that was twice rejected by Congress. Heckuva job, Barry.

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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