By Michael Oleaga
November 4, 2015
A leaked memo from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reportedly revealed President Barack Obama plans to bypass a federal court injunction that temporarily paused the implementation of his immigration deferred action program.
The internal memo dates back to June, and provides options to provide Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as work permits.
The first option is to provide EADs to individuals who are currently and physically in the U.S., which would "cover a greater number of individuals, many of whom have already had the U.S. labor market tested demonstrating that their future employment won't adversely affect U.S. workers." Another "pro" is that it would authorize the presence of select people who are not in the U.S. lawfully and would address "some of the intended deferred action population."
Option 2 is to provide the EADs to only individuals who are lawfully present in the U.S. and not include non-immigrant overstays. Option 3 is to provide work permits to individuals with lawful nonimmigrant status at the time of filing for the EAD. The final option is to grant EADs to certain individuals with lawful nonimmigrant status, excluding people with H-1Bs or L-1As.
For one Republican congressman from Texas, the concept of the Obama administration circumventing the court injunction would push the U.S. from democracy to dictatorship.
"No one, least of all those streaming illegally across our borders, believes that the Obama administration is going to enforce current immigration laws," said Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. "If this administration was half as determined to uphold immigration laws as it is to undermining them, our borders would be secure, sanctuary cities would cease to exist, and criminal immigrants would be deported instead of being released back into our neighborhoods.
"This memo shows the great lengths to which DHS officials have gone in order to defy a federal judge's orders that halted President Obama's executive actions from last November. The American people cannot and will not tolerate this administration ignoring the rule of law. It is the only thing that protects the people and distinguishes our democracy from a dictatorship," added Smith.
In November 2014, Obama announced the creation of the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and expansion of 2012's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs. With the DACA expansion, Obama's deferred action programs would provide at least 4.9 million undocumented immigrants temporary permits to stay in the U.S. for three years. The permits would be renewable and would vary on requirements set forth from DHS.
Opponents of Obama's deferred action programs have sued the Obama administration from implementing DAPA and DACA's expansion. The opponents have been successful in at least winning the court injunction, which temporarily blocked the federal government from implemented the November 2014 executive actions. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals are still reviewing the legality of Obama's executive actions, but a final ruling date has not been determined.
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com